2016 Tony Awards: A show of support for Orlando victims
The Tonys are normally a night of celebration, honoring the year’s theatrical triumphs. Last Sunday’s 70th annual show, however, was tempered by the Orlando shooting that occurred earlier in the day. The theater community is known for its inclusiveness and acceptance, so it was no surprise that its members spoke out in support of those affected by the shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse. While the Tony’s proceeded with the usual comedic schticks audiences expect at an awards show, including James Corden’s medley of musical history and a well-delivered joke about celebrity appearances on Law & Order, there was an over all message of sympathy for the Orlando victims throughout the night. Corden opened the show with a brief but poignant speech about the shooting, stating.
“All we can say is you are not on your own right now.Your tragedy is our tragedy … Theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, is embraced and is loved. Hate will never win.” His words carried a message of resilience, which other speakers built on as the show continued. During his acceptance speech for best original score for Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda showed his support for Orlando victims with a sonnet, insisting that “love is love is love is love is love. It cannot be killed or swept aside.” He concluded his speech by encouraging listeners to “fill the world with music love and pride,” a beautiful sentiment in the face of the tragedy at Pulse nightclub.
In addition, many of the attendees at the Tonys wore translucent silver ribbons to show solidarity with the Orlando victims and all of those affected by the tragedy. The healing process in the aftermath of such a terrible event is long, but the stars of Broadway did their part to help this process along through their message of love and support.