It was, as expected, a landslide, though not a record-breaker, for Hamilton, as the Tony Awards were doled out Sunday night in New York, celebrating the 2015/16 Broadway season.
The hip-hop history-lesson blockbuster, centring on Alexander Hamilton and his relationships with the other founding fathers of America, captured 11 of the coveted statuettes, climaxed with the honour for Best Musical. The total fell just short of the dozen Tonys that went to The Producers in 2001. However, Hamilton can still claim the record for Tony nominations, with 16.
In the wake of the Hamilton onslaught, the only other musicals making it to the winner’s circle were The Color Purple and She Loves Me. The Color Purple won as Best Musical Revival (where it didn’t have to compete with Hamilton) and also picked up a Tony for British actress Cynthia Erivo as leading actress in a musical. She Loves Me, which had a total of eight nominations to its credit, counted only one win for its scenic designer David Rockwell.
Among the Hamilton victories were the nods to its creator Lin-Manuel Miranda for book and score. However, the multi-tasking Miranda, who also plays the title role, lost out as leading actor in a musical to his co-star Leslie Odom Jr., who portrays Hamilton’s nemesis Aaron Burr.
Featured actor and actress awards went to Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs and Renee Elise Goldsberry, while the show also won for its director Thomas Kail and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler.
Rounding out the Hamilton accolades were orchestrator Alex Lacamoire, costume designer Paul Tazewell and lighting designer Howell Binkley.
Before the opening number, host James Corden spoke for the whole theatre community in saying that the awards were dedicated to those who had been affected by events in Orlando. A statement on the Tony Awards Twitter feed read: “Our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy that happened last night in Orlando. Out thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected. The Tony Awards dedicate tonight’s ceremony to them.”
In addition to the Tony Awards, Hamilton also made news last week (although it seems to make news one way or another every week) by announcing that it was raising its top ticket price to a jaw-dropping $849 (£600). This price will cover about 200 seats per show. These premium seats have sold for as much as $477. Prices for most other seats will be increased less dramatically to between $179 and $199. At the same time, it is more than doubling to 46 the number of lottery tickets it sells to each of its shows for a mere $10. Who says there’s no soul on Broadway?
The rationale for the hike in prices is that money that has been going to ticket resellers – or, as they’re known on Broadway, scalpers – will now go to the production. Scalper prices for the chronically sold-out hit have stretched well past $1,000. We can only assume that Alexander Hamilton, who was pretty smart about money as founder of the US Treasury, would approve.
The Humans by Stephen Karam
Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
Best Revival of a Musical
The Color Purple
Best Book of a Musical
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Music and Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Frank Langella, The Father
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Reed Birney, The Humans
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Best Scenic Design of a Play
David Zinn, The Humans
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
David Rockwell, She Loves Me
Best Costume Design of a Play
Clint Ramos, Eclipsed
Best Costume Design of a Musical
Paul Tazewell, Hamilton
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Natasha Katz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Howell Binkley, Hamilton
Best Direction of a Play
Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
Best Direction of a Musical
Thomas Kail, Hamilton
Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton
Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
Recipients of Awards and Honours in Non-competitive Categories
Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Marshall W. Mason
Special Tony Award
National Endowment for the Arts
Regional Theatre Tony Award
Paper Mill Playhouse
Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Tony Honours for Excellence in the Theatre
Sally Ann Parsons