Tony Awards 2016 organisers could not remain indifferent to the tragedy in Orlando nightclub this Sunday. So it was decided to dedicate this year ceremony to the victims of that tragedy. “Our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy that happened last night in Orlando. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected,” the Tony Awards said in a statement Sunday. “The Tony Awards dedicate tonight’s ceremony to them,” they said.
Organizers didn’t say how the evening’s Tony broadcast would be affected, but “Hamilton” — the musical about Founding Father Alexander Hamilton that is expected to win big — will drop its use of muskets in its performance, according to a spokesman for the musical.
Performers who have strong ties to the gay community like Donna Murphy and Audra McDonald took to Twitter to express their outrage over the attack. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the star and creator of “Hamilton” tweeted a rainbow-colored heart with “Orlando” written beneath it. Josh Groban, who plans to star on Broadway this fall, tweeted: “We mourn but stand tall.” Tony nominee Cynthia Erivo simply wrote: “Sending thoughts to Orlando.”
The performance from the revival of “Spring Awakening,” featuring a mix of hearing and deaf performers, was dedicated to the victims. The show’s director, Michael Arden, called the attack “senseless.” The shooting threatened to put a damper on the expected victory lap for “Hamilton,” Miranda’s hip-hop-flavored biography about the first U.S. treasury secretary. With its diverse cast, the show has become a cultural phenomenon, bringing attention to Broadway like no other.