Hamilton is the hottest show on Broadway that you can't stop hearing about. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the mastermind behind the show, wrote the music and lyrics. It took Miranda six years to create the hip-hop inspired masterpiece about one of our nation's founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton.
Last night, the show's hard work came to fruition when they walked away with 11 awards from the Tonys. The show, which was nominated for a record-tying 16 Tonys, walked away with 11 of them, just shy of the record-breaking 12 Tonys that The Producers came away with in 2001.
Hamilton took home the awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score. Surprisingly Miranda did not win the award for Best Actor, but was beaten by his co-star Leslie Odom, Jr. Two other cast members, Daveed Diggs and Rene Elise Goldsberry were also awarded for their acting.
Unfortunately, there was a dark shadow cast on this year's show, and the evening was dedicated to the people who were killed or injured in the Orlando shooting that took place earlier that day, resulting in upwards of 50 fatalities and injuries. During the ensemble's powerful performance, the cast placed their muskets on the ground.
James Corden, the show's host and fellow Tony award winner for Best Actor in 2012, opened the show by addressing the shooting and those affected by it saying, "On behalf of the whole theater community, and every person in this room, our hearts go out to all of those affected by this atrocity."
Corden, who was visibly shaken while speaking about the event went on to say that "Hate will never win. Together, we have to make sure of that. Tonight's show stands as a symbol and a celebration of that principle."
Miranda followed in the footsteps of Corden. When accepting the award for Best Original Score, Miranda read a sonnet that he wrote prior to the show, addressing both the audience and the world about the day's tragedy in Orlando.
His sonnet was beautifully simple yet substantially powerful. With intense emotion Miranda said,
"We live in times when hate and fear seem stronger / We rise and fall and light from dying embers / Remembrances that hope and love last longer / And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love / cannot be killed or swept aside."
He could not be more right. Miranda's words were spot-on and touched everyone who was in the audience or tuned in around the world. I was watching the show live and felt chills running down my spine as I was listening to him tremble yet strive to finish the sonnet. The sonnet was solemn, yet uplifting and hopeful.