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Hamilton rules the Tony Awards, even if it doesn’t make history

Written by
David Cote

The 70th annual Tony Awards unfolded in the shadow of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, a horrifying attack on the LGBTQ community that shocked the country and the world. As Barbra Streisand (dressed in a Hamilton–style outfit) said toward the end of the night, "Our joy is tinged with sorrow." In the hours before the ceremony began, the Tonys dedicated the night to the victims. Producers for Hamilton declared that, out of respect, prop muskets would not be used in its performance on the broadcast. There were vigils across the city planned to honor the victims. And Tony host James Corden prefaced the telecast with a short but heartfelt tribute: “Hate will never win.”

RECOMMENDED: See complete Tony Awards coverage

The big question of the evening—would Hamilton make history with 13 wins, outdoing The Producers’ 12 in 2001—was answered before the CBS telecast began: No. David Rockwell (She Loves Me) won for Scenic Design of a Musical, beating Hamilton’s David Korins. As the ceremony continued, though, the Hamilton wins kept rolling in: for Renée Elise Goldsberry, Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda's score and book, director Thomas Kail, so on and so forth. By the night's close, Hamilton had won 11 awards. Not history-making, perhaps, but pretty damn good.

The telecast itself was zippy, efficient and well written (although it did go over by nearly 20 minutes). One interesting if half-baked idea was borrowed from Hamilton’s “Ham4Ham” outdoor performances, with nominees singing snatches of famous show tunes under the Beacon marquee for crowds. As usual, the presentation of plays was uncertain and undercooked.

The night’s big surprises weren’t exactly surprises: Belgian director Ivo van Hove winning Best Director of a Play for Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge—which also won Best Revival of a Play. In our predictions we thought Tony voters would go with a more conventional (albeit totally deserving) choice, like Joe Mantello (The Humans). We correctly predicted 19 out of 24 competitive races.

So in terms of sheer numbers of awards, Hamilton may not have broken the record, but in the annals of great musicals, it has already gone down in the history books.

Below are the complete 2016 Tony Award winners:

Best Play
Eclipsed (Danai Gurira)
The Father (Florian Zeller) 
The Humans (Stephen Karam) WINNER
King Charles III (Mike Bartlett)

Best Musical
Bright Star
Hamilton WINNER
School of Rock
Shuffle Along

Best Revival of a Play
The Crucible 
Long Day’s Journey Into Night 
A View from the Bridge WINNER 
Noises Off

Best Revival of a Musical
The Color Purple WINNER
Fiddler on the Roof 
She Loves Me 
Spring Awakening

Best Book of a Musical
Julian Fellowes, School of Rock
Steve Martin, Bright Star 
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton WINNER
George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Sara Bareilles, Waitress
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater, School of Rock
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Bright Star
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton WINNER

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Gabriel Byrne, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Jeff Daniels, Blackbird 
Frank Langella, The Father WINNER
Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III
Mark Strong, A View from the Bridge 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night WINNER
Laurie Metcalf, Misery
Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed
Sophie Okonedo, The Crucible
Michelle Williams, Blackbird

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Alex Brightman, School of Rock
Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
Zachary Levi, She Loves Me
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton 
Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton WINNER

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
Carmen Cusack, Bright Star
Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple WINNER
Jessie Mueller, Waitress
Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Reed Birney, The Humans WINNER
Bill Camp, The Crucible
David Furr, Noises Off
Robert Goulding, King Charles III
Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Pascale Armand, Eclipsed
Megan Hilty, Noises Off
Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans WINNER
Andrea Martin, Noises Off
Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Daveed Diggs, Hamilton WINNER
Brandon Victor Dixon, Shuffle Along 
Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
Jonathan Groff, Hamilton
Christopher Jackson, Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton WINNER
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
Jennifer Simard, Disaster!
Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Beowulf Borritt, Thérèse Raquin
Christopher Oram, Hughie
Jan Versweyveld, A View from the Bridge
David Zinn, The Humans WINNER

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Es Devlin and Finn Ross, American Psycho
David Korins, Hamilton 
Santo Loquasto, Shuffle Along
David Rockwell, She Loves Me WINNER

Best Costume Design of a Play
Jane Greenwood, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Michael Krass, Noises Off
Clint Ramos, Eclipsed WINNER
Tom Scutt, King Charles III

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Tuck Everlasting
Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me
Ann Roth, Shuffle Along
Paul Tazewell, Hamilton WINNER

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Natasha Katz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night WINNER
Justin Townsend, The Humans 
Jan Versweyveld, The Crucible
Jan Versweyveld, A View from the Bridge 

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Howell Binkley, Hamilton WINNER
Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along
Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
Justin Townsend, American Psycho

Best Direction of a Play

Rupert Goold, King Charles III
Jonathan Kent, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Joe Mantello, The Humans 
Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed
Ivo van Hove, A View from the Bridge WINNER

Best Direction of a Musical
Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
John Doyle, The Color Purple
Scott Ellis, She Loves Me
Thomas Kail, Hamilton WINNER
George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along

Best Choreography
Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton WINNER
Savion Glover, Shuffle Along 
Hofesh Shechter, Fiddler on the Roof
Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea
Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet!

Best Orchestrations
August Eriksmoen, Bright Star
Larry Hochman, She Loves Me
Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton WINNER
Daryl Waters, Shuffle Along

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