Welcome to Deadline’s live blog of the 70th annual Antoinette Perry Awards, better known as the Tonys, broadcast by CBS beginning at 8 PM New York time. As you undoubtedly know by now, an evening that has been anticipated as the final coronation of Hamilton, the musical sensation of this or pretty much any season, has been darkened by the news from Orlando, where an attack by a lone terrorist at the Pulse nightclub on Saturday night left 50 dead and 53 wounded. The Broadway community responded early by dedicating tonight’s event to the families of the victims, and it’s likely that the attack — which took place in a gay club and appears to have been a hate crime and terrorist act — will be on the minds of presenters, winners and the evening’s emcee, Late Late Show host and Tony winner James Corden.
As for the Tonys themselves, don’t forget that this has been, by universal acclaim, one of the best seasons in memory, the result being very tight races in many categories, and plenty of stars abounding in both the nominated categories and as presenters. And look for Barbra Streisand making her first Tony appearance since winning an honorary award 46 years ago. Greg Evans and Jeremy Gerard will be watching for all of that, with additional news from backstage at the Beacon Theatre.
CBS took advantage of its telecast to re-run and update Charlie Rose’s “60 Minutes” story about Lin-Manuel Miranda. Man, this much publicity for “Hamilton” would cost…the price of a ticket to “Hamilton.”
It’s an excellent report though, isn’t it? Really captures the tone and mood of Hamilton.
Yes, though I wonder how the actresses feel about all the wiliness. Too many close-ups!
The presence of plainclothes police with various types of arms was unmissable on the Manhattan streets today, especially on the Upper West Side.
And here we go as the show begins.
The promo calls it “Your one chance” to see Hamilton. Roger that…
That promo was a win-win for Hamilton and the Tony broadcast itself.
One thing I’ll be looking for is how many digs are made at Hollywood, given the extraordinary diversity of this year’s nominees….
Corden opens on a serious note: “On behalf of the theater community our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. Hater is a place where ..hate will never win…This is the Tony Awards.”
The opening riffs on the opening of Hamilton to introduce Corden. Fabulous. And Hamilton’s Tony nominee Daveed Diggs is clearly an audience fave.
Very clever opening musical bit, with Corden taking over the Hamilton number.
Corden wearing that ribbon designed by William Ivey Long to honor the Orlando dead.
And there it is: “Think of tonight as the Oscars, but with diversity,” Corden says. Didn’t take long…
America will come to know Daveed Diggs well, I suspect. A star in the making…
Uh oh — the opening number looks like the set from The Flick.
Obligatory ‘Les Miz” reference…
Les Miz? Really?
This is looking like an ad for the Shuberts….
The quick-changes remind me of Corden’s astonishing performance in One Man Two Gunners, for which he won his Tony…
And first Barbra joke of the night.
Neat trick including all the musical actor nominees in the very long opening number. The crowd at the Beacon loving it, but I wonder how viewers felt.
The great Jayne Houdyshell gives The Humans its first win of the night.
And she pays tribute not only to author Stephen Karam but to director Joe Mantello and the cast as well. Lovely.
I want Andrew Lloyd Webber’s tailor.
“School of Rock” performance, from one of the few shows I can think of that more than survives the film to stage transition, yes?
Yes. Pure fun, I guess you could call it un-adult-erated.
And I hate those kids who play guitar at 15 better than I do at…at…whatever
You beat me to it…
Folks outside the beautiful Beacon getting a nice surprise with all-star jam. Steve Martin, Miranda…
And Andrew Lloyd Webber on tambourine!
But singing “Tomorrow.” Really?
And not on-key either.
So far, we’re nearly a half hour onto the show — and one award has been bestowed…
I love the fact that there’s a commercial for a new movie called “Equity” on the Tonys. Equity. Get it?
Renee Elise Goldsberry wins Hamilton’s first Tony of the night, for best featured actress in a musical.
She plays the sister-in-law of Hamilton, and his secret beloved. A fantastic performance, beautifully sung…
And a powerful, gracious and heartfelt acceptance speech. That’s how it’s done, folks.
I’m always interested to see how stage shows come across on the small screen. I didn’t think Shuffle Along would work, but it has a nice energy that comes through.
I agree. But don’t you find a lot of these camera angles bizarre?
So far not so much. After the sweaty close-ups on 60 Minutes, I’m relieved…
Do you think Audra McDonald was snubbed by Tony? Anyone you’d remove from Musical Actress category for her?
Also bizarre: The current casts singing bits from old shows outside the theater as lede-ins to commercials….
That’s a touchy one. I adore Audra but I think she was too old for this role. I didn’t think she was snubbed. In that role, I felt the fantastic Ana Villafane, from On Your Feet. deserved a nomination for her amazing performance as Gloria Estefan. She wuz robbed.
Clint Ramos, who won for costume design of a play for Eclipsed, said backstage that he found the costumes in thrift shops, Salvation Army. He searched all around for American-style clothes like that. He noted that the show is about “ow the human spirit can triumph.”
I guess we’re hearing about the awards that won’t be given onscreen live.
Odd. Costume award seems ready-made for TV.
Pauk Tazewell won for his Hamilton costumes. That’s #2.
And #3 — audience favorite Daveed Diggs wins as Hamilton’s Lafayette and Jefferson.
Take note America, you’ll be seeing more of Daveed Diggs.
Give him an award for that outfit! And another fantastic speech.
With all the endless coverage of “Hamilton,” I wonder if everyone knows how funny the show is? And Diggs is one of the funniest on the stage.
Lin-Manuel Miranda wins the first of his three nominations, for the Hamilton score. And he references Orlando in his beautiful sonnet acceptance speech, very emotional.
Also, announced earlier, Ham wins for Best lighting design
Meg Ryan, frozen in time…
Zachary Levi nails the Jimmy Stewart vibe, doesn’t he?
She Loves Me is the first of two nominated shows written by the incomparable, ageless lyricist Sheldon Harnick. Laura Benanti, singing Ice Cream from She Loves Me is a glorious throwback to operetta. Later we’ll hear from Harnick’s next show, Fiddler On The Roof, also a best revival nominee…
Benanti was one of two or three performers to come through that live “Sound of Music” telecast unscathed. She works well on screen.
Update on off-camera wins — Natasha Katz wins for lighting Long Day’s Journey Into Night. David Rockwell won for his set for She Loves Me, denying Hamilton that award.
I’m actually ok with these outdoor performances of Broadway chestnuts, as long as they keep it short.
Hamilton tally so far: Four (score, featured actor and actress in a musical, lighting)
Ivo von Hove wins for his direction of A View From The Bridge. I was in the minority on this one. But the voters clearly didn’t forget this show, which closed some time ago.
A great year for Van Hove, who just won for directing View from the Bridge. And he gives shout out to David Bowie – Van Hove directed the late, great Ziggy’s “Lazarus” off broadway.
Lazarus was brilliant indeed. Tommy Kail takes the directing award for Hamilton, #5 — asks his wife, How’m I doing — shades of Ed Koch!
Josh Groban as a high school Tevye — fantastic anthropological find
But he mispronounces Danny Burstein’s name. A shonda, as some would say.
So how does this Fiddler stack up against all the productions you’ve seen, Groban not included??
I’m thinking Fiddler was in one way the Hamilton of its day — no one didn’t love it. And Lin-Manuel Miranda performed it at his own wedding. It’s on youtube.
I was also in the minority on the Fiddler, but having seen Zero Mostel and Theo Bikel, I was pretty spoiled.
I’m even a fan of the generally unloved film version with Topol. Am I right in thinking it was unloved?
Paul Tazwell, who won for costume design for Hamilton, said he would tell people to “be passionate about what they love to do.Hold to it and it will come around. You will realize your own Hamilton.”
Also my daughter Emily played Tevye at camp. She was spectacular.
Greg who’s more adorable, Rannels or Ronin?
Hooray for Reed Birney, winning for The Humans, a spectacular performance for a long-deserving actor.
And very happy Birney just won. Your recent interview with him was wonderful.
Steve Martin on how to get to Broadway: “Do what I did – already be famous.”
Reed Birney acknowledges that 35 of his 42 years in the profession “were pretty bad.” What an amazing comeback he has had, first with Casa Valentina and now with The Humans. And don’t forget his amazing off-Broadway performance in Uncle Vanya at Soho Rep. Glad to see the two parents from The Humans win their hard-won Tonys.
Ok, I see what you mean about the camera angles. I’m got vertigo watching “Bright Star.”
Vertigo aside, I don’t think that performance did “Bright Star” any favors. Ho-hum.
Agree on Bright Star. And Hamilton tally update: Seven so far. But it can not break The Producers’ record of 12 wins.
Best bit of the night: James Corden showing every nominees performances in Law & Order. Brilliant.
The Tonys share the “Law & Order” joke with the world – every Playbill bio of every Broadway actor lists at least one “Law & Order” credit, the bread and butter of New York actors.
I think Hamilton is up to 8 now, or did I lose count?
Law & Order is for this generation what The Fantasticks was for an earlier one. The link between them? El Gallo himself, the late great Jerry Orbach.
“Color Purple” looking impressive with that performance…
yes — despite the damned camera work. Why can’t they just show the stage?
Angela Lansbury looking even more impressive. What a wonder…
Nathan Lane with the first Trump joke of the night, I think.
Jessica Lange wins for Long Day’s Journey Into Night — another brilliant performance by one who deserves it. She is a marvel. And she acknowledges Orlando right off the bat.
She thanks Ryan Murphy, her American Horror Story pal.
I’ve seen so many performances of the O’Neill masterpiece and this is the first one that really sang to me. I’m happy to see her acknowledge the Roundabout’s Todd Haimes. What a year he has had.
Lange’s now done Mary Tyrone and Blanche Du Bois, am I right? Is there a third classic she needs to tackle? Not Mama Rose certainly.
I didn’t see when they announced that Lin-Manuel won for the Hamilton score as well as book. So Ham has 8 Tonys. Now Greg watch Ana Villafane and see a star in the making.
Kudos to producer Ken Davenport first for bringing the beautiful Deaf West revival of Spring Awakening to Broadway this season and I assume for bringing the extraordinary cast back for the Tonys. This was as memorable as Deaf West’s first Broadway visit, with the revival of Roger Miller’s Huck Finn music, Big River.
Sheldon Harnick, not on the live broadcast: Thank you (for his honorary Tony for lifetime achievement). If I didn’t deserve it, this would be embarrassing. As the wise man said, it’s not bragging if it’s true.
Corden holding his own rapping with Miranda in a car…
This Les Miz quintet in the Mini is pretty darned great. Better than the whole movie.
Audra McDonald, Jane Krakowsi, L-M Miranda, Cordin and Jesse Tyler Ferguson belting showtunes in a car. A theater geek’s fantasy.
What the heck is Cate Blanchett wearing?
Frank Langella wins his fourth Tony for The Father.
Says he was warned by a teacher that success will come late in his life. “I thought she meant 30.” Maybe the best line of the night.
He discards the litany of names for a moving tribute to the Orlando victims. Very powerful. Bravo.
Here’s the mirror scene from Spring Awakening, Unforgettable.
Two actresses, one role, one deaf, one hearing. Making a Broadway musical a dance of ecstasy.
And I think the revolving camera work actually paid off there, circling the two actresses…
Duncan Sheik had two shows on Broadway this season — his brilliant Spring Awakening in this revival, and American Psycho — which I doubt we’ll see revived anytime soon.
Indeed not. If “School of Rock” was a screen to stage success, “American Psycho” was the opposite. Though I have to admit I enjoyed more of it than most critics did, particularly the first act.
And our first look on TV of the new “Absolutely Fabulous” movie with a commercial. Talk about targeted marketing.
I should say “upcoming” movie, lest we have Tony viewers rushing to theaters tonight.
Well I can’t wait to see it….
A View From the Bridge wins best revival. Scott Rudin accepts.
A videotaped tribute from the White House — to Hamilton.
Here comes “Hamilton” performance.
I can’t think of any number from the show that wouldn’t sell Hamilton. Oops there was the night’s first bleep.
That should sell some tickets. Oh I forgot, there aren’t any.
I was hoping they’d do the rap battle between Hamilton and Jerfferson, but I guess there’s no arguing with “My Shot.” It’s big, fast and dramatic.
I was hoping for The Room Where It Happens. Best song, best staging. But this was still great.
The Beacon Theatre looks great, by the way. Not a Broadway theater, technically, but one of New York’s great, beautiful concert venues, longtime home to many an Allman Brothers concert.
And that’s the last time I’ll say “great” for the night.
Yes, much better than Radio City Music Hall, which looks cavernous. But let’s remember that the Tonys began in 1947 as a local event with the ceremony held in a hotel ballroom. I often wonder what price has been paid for the global phenom the Tonys have become.
Christian Borle presenting, the other “Sound of Music Live” performer beside Laura Benanti who emerged from that production intact.
Here’s a nod to future presidential candidate Chuck Schumer for getting tax breaks for theater comparable to those enjoyed by movies and TV.
Regarding the hotel ballroom presentations of olde, we’ll always have “All About Eve.”
“The Humans” scores another win for Scott Rudin & Co.
The Humans wins best play. Scott Rudin acknowledging the crowd on stage — this is how many people it takes to produce new play on Broadway.
Is director Joe Mantello not in the house?
That’s five wins for The Humans. 9 for Hamilton.
Kerri Russell, star of the film The Waitress, introduces the number from the musical it spawned, with the great Jessie Mueller in the lead.
Dan Rather tweets that this may be the best Tony telecast ever. Wouldn’t go that far, but it’s proceeding at a brisk pace, Cordin is charming and it doesn’t have the antic, frantic feel that Neil Patrick Harris brought. Heresy, I know.
Sarah Bareilles and Jessie Mueller duet on Sarah’s killer number from the show, She Used to Be Mine.
Andrew Rannells and Glenn Close do Trump and Hill in “musicals” — Glenn singing I really Need This Job from A Chorus Line, here called A Clinton Line.
The Color Purple wins best musical revival — pretty well expected in a very strong category.
I’m thinking a new show with Glenn Close as Hillary and Meryl Streep reprising her recent impersonation of Trump. Scott Rudin, are you listening?
I’m predicting now that Hamilton will end up with 11 Tonys. Lets see how I do as we enter the home stretch.
Sweet “In Memoriam” segment. We lost some beloved ones this year. Roger Reese, Doris Roberts, Bowie, to name a very few.
We’re officially over the time limit. And no Babs yet.
Leslie Odom Jr, Aaron Burr in Hamilton, wins est performance by an actor in a musical.
Woah, wasn’t expecting that. But I can’t argue with it.
Odom won over Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. But he walks off with the show in The Room Where It Happens.
That number certainly won him the award.
Cynthia Erivo wins for The Color Purple, also expected in a super strong category even without my fave, Ana Villafane.
Erivo’s gown is very Labelle circa ’75. Looks fine.
So far, Shuffle Along has been totally blanked, which is a shame. School of Rock, too, and Bright Star.
Here comes Barbra.
You’re making me verklemt, she says. She also nods to Orlando. She is dressed as if auditioning for Hamilton.
I was right — she says Thank God i picked the right outfit — before announcing Hamilton as winner of Best Musical.
Very cool to see a “Hamilton” performance with the cast in street clothes. Well, very expensive street clothes.
Look around, look around how lucky are we to be alive, says producer Jeffrey Seller. And my number? On the mark: Hamilton wins 9 Tony awards. And The Humans wins Four. And with that, we sign off our live blog. Stay tuned for my review of the show.