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Awards Season

‘Hamilton,’ ‘The Humans’ Dominate 2016 Tony Awards

‘Hamilton,’ ‘The Humans’ Dominate 2016 Tony Awards
Photo Source: Joan Marcus

“Look around, look around, how lucky we are to be alive right now!” said producer Jeffrey Seller at the end of the 70th annual Tony Awards, presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing on June 12 at New York’s Beacon Theatre. The “Hamilton” lyric was a fitting statement for Broadway’s biggest night, which celebrated the joy, resilience, and diversity of the 2015–16 theater season.

“Alexander Hamilton was a dreamer. I stand on this stage and in this theater surrounded by dreamers,” said Seller, in reference to his fellow winners: creator Lin-Manuel Miranda for best lyrics and book of a musical; best leading actor Leslie Odom Jr.; best featured actress Renée Elise Goldsberry; best featured actor Daveed Diggs; and more. “Hamilton” netted a total of 11 statues, almost reaching the record of 12 held by “The Producers.”

Jessica Lange and Frank Langella were the big acting winners for “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and “The Father,” respectively. Faring well in the play categories was Stephen Karam’s chilling family drama “The Humans,” which won the awards for best new play, best featured actor Reed Birney, best featured actress Jayne Houdyshell, and best scenic design David Zinn. Ivo van Hove and his production of Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge” took home statues for best direction and best revival of a play, respectively. 

In a particularly competitive year, Cynthia Erivo took home the honor for leading actress in a musical for “The Color Purple,” which also won the coveted best musical revival award. This marks the first year on record that all four musical acting categories were claimed by performers of color.

The CBS telecast included a rousing opening number from host James Corden in which he enacted several famous musicals in rapid succession. The casts of “Hamilton,” “Shuffle Along,” “Waitress,” “Bright Star,” “School of Rock,” “On Your Feet!”, “The Color Purple,” “She Loves Me,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and last fall’s revival of “Spring Awakening” each performed numbers from their shows.

The Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, given to someone in the Broadway community “who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations,” went to “Shuffle Along” star Brian Stokes Mitchell. The 2016 Regional Tony Award was presented to New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, and special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre were given to two-time Tony-winning lyricist Sheldon Harnick and multiple Tony-nominated director Marshall W. Mason. Theater executive Miles Wilkin, the National Endowment for the Arts, Seth Gelblum, Joan Lader, and Sally Ann Parsons also received recognition.

See the full list of winners below! For more information visit tonyawards.com.


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
”
Tim Pigott-Smith, “King Charles III
”
Mark Strong, Arthur Miller’s “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
”
Laurie Metcalf, “Misery
”
Lupita Nyong’o, “Eclipsed
”
Sophie Okonedo, “Arthur Miller’s The Crucible”

Michelle Williams, “Blackbird”


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


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”

Jessie Mueller, “Waitress”

Phillipa Soo, “Hamilton”


Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
* Reed Birney, “The Humans
”
Bill Camp, “Arthur Miller’s The Crucible”

David Furr, “Noises Off
”
Richard 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
”
Andrea Martin, “Noises Off
”
Saycon Sengbloh, “Eclipsed”


Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
* Daveed Diggs, “Hamilton”

Brandon Victor Dixon, “Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
”
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
”
Jane Krakowski, “She Loves Me”

Jennifer Simard, “Disaster!
”
Adrienne Warren, “Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed”

Best Play
“Eclipsed”
“The Father”
* “The Humans”
“King Charles III”


Best Musical
“Bright Star”
* “Hamilton”
“School of Rock—The Musical”
“Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed”
“Waitress”


Best Revival of a Play
“Arthur Miller’s The Crucible”
* “Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge”
“Blackbird”
“Long Day’s Journey Into Night”
“Noises Off”


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


Best Book of a Musical
“Bright Star”
* “Hamilton”
“School of Rock—The Musical”
“Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed”

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics)
“Bright Star”
* “Hamilton”
“School of Rock—The Musical”
“Waitress”


Best Scenic Design of a Play
Beowulf Boritt, “Thérèse Raquin
”
Christopher Oram, “Hughie”

Jan Versweyveld, “Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
”
* David Zinn, “The Humans”

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Es Devlin and Finn Ross, “American Psycho”

David Korins, “Hamilton
”
Santo Loquasto, “Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
”
* David Rockwell, “She Loves Me”


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


Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, “Tuck Everlasting
”
Jeff Mahshie, “She Loves Me”

Ann Roth, “Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
”
* Paul Tazewell, “Hamilton”


Best Lighting Design of a Play
* Natasha Katz, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night
”
Justin Townsend, “The Humans
”
Jan Versweyveld, “Arthur Miller’s The Crucible”
Jan Versweyveld, “Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge”


Best Lighting Design of a Musical
* Howell Binkley, “Hamilton
”
Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, “Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
”
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, “Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge”

Best Direction of a Musical
Michael Arden, “Spring Awakening”

John Doyle, “The Color Purple
”
Scott Ellis, “She Loves Me”

* Thomas Kail, “Hamilton
”
George C. Wolfe, “Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed”

Best Choreography
* Andy Blankenbuehler, “Hamilton
”
Savion Glover, “Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
”
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”

Daryl Waters, “Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed”

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

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
Brian Stokes Mitchell

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

Check out the Backstage casting notice for the “Hamilton” Broadway and national tours!

And check out acting advice from some of this year’s nominees:

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