Hamilton dominates the Tony Awards (plus win for Color Purple’s Cynthia Erivo)

Okieriete Onaodowan, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Anthony Ramos, and the company of Hamilton, with book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, inspired by the book “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow, with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and directed by Thomas Kail, running at The Public Theater. Photo credit: Joan Marcus.

Hamilton dominates the Tony Awards. Picture: Joan Marcus.

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.

0933_Jennifer Hudson and Cynthia Erivo in THE COLOR PURPLE photo by Matthew Murphy

Cynthia Erivo (pictured with Jennifer Hudson) wins for her performance in The Color Purple. Picture: Matthew Murphy

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.

Ron Cohen

 Best Play

The Humans by Stephen Karam

Best Musical


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

Lin-Manuel Miranda

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

Best Choreography

Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton

Best Orchestrations

Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton

Recipients of Awards and Honours in Non-competitive Categories

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Sheldon Harnick
Marshall W. Mason

Special Tony Award
National Endowment for the Arts
Miles Wilkin

Regional Theatre Tony Award
Paper Mill Playhouse
Millburn, NJ

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
Brian Stokes Mitchell

Tony Honours for Excellence in the Theatre
Seth Gelblum
Joan Lader
Sally Ann Parsons


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