The 2016 Tony Awards will air as scheduled. According to CNN, the biggest night on Broadway is slated to include tributes to the recent victims of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. No muskets will appear onstage.
Organizers of this year’s Tony Awards released the following statement.
“Our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy that happened last night in Orlando. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected. The Tony Awards dedicate tonight’s ceremony to them.”
As you can imagine, the customary preshow celebrations that took place in Manhattan today were much more subdued than usual. Although there will still be a traditional red carpet, some stars are expected to opt out interviews and photo opportunities.
— People Magazine (@people) June 12, 2016
The New York Times reported that some publicists cautioned their clients to be extremely careful about what they said on the red carpet before the 2016 Tony Awards begin. It was even suggested that they refuse to grant interviews unless they wanted to make a personal comment about the Orlando shootings.
Several Broadway stars have already commented, via Twitter and other social media platforms, about the latest Orlando tragedy. Among them are Kristin Chenoweth, Laura Benanti, and Audra McDonald.
When it comes time for the cast of Hamilton to perform, during the 2016 Tony Awards broadcast, they will not be using their usual prop muskets. This fact has been confirmed by a show spokesman. A New York Times report goes on to say that instead of using muskets, the cast will use pantomime to depict the warfare of the day.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) June 12, 2016
Until today, the buzz surrounding the 2016 Tony Awards was whether or not Hamilton would make history. The hip-hop musical about Alexander Hamilton received 16 nominations, this year. If the production wins in 13 categories, it will break the record for most wins ever for a musical. The production The Producers won 12 Tony Awards in 2001.
In case you’re unaware, Hamilton is a hip-hop musical about Alexander Hamilton. It features Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr. Both stars are nominees. Watch a great clip about it, below.
The host of the 2016 Tony awards is James Cordon, who you probably know hosts The Late Late Show. It’s interesting to note that Cordon is a Tony Award winner himself. He won an award, in 2012, for Best Actor. The play was One Man, To Guvnors. As of yet, no one is certain as to whether or not Cordon will comment about the tragedy in Orlando.
In a second statement, made approximately two hours ago, Tony Awards organizers reiterated the fact that the 2016 Tony Awards will go on. The statement is as follows.
“The Tony Awards is about celebrating live theater, illuminating the human condition in all its diverse forms. We walk into the Beacon Theater tonight with thoughts of our brothers and sisters in Orlando clearly in our hearts.”
There is little precedent for an award show like the 2016 Tony Awards broadcast taking place so soon after a tragedy like the Orlando shootings. However, in 2001 the Emmy Awards were postponed due to the September 11 terrorist attack.
Officially referred to as the Antoinette Perry Awards, the Tony Awards are presented each year by the Broadway League in the American Theater Wing. The award show pays tribute to musicals and plays, which open every year, in 40 theaters in and around Times Square. These theaters are attributed to what makes up Broadway.
In the wake of the terrible Orlando tragedy, do you think it’s a good idea for the 2016 Tony Awards show to go on? Feel free to leave your Tony Awards-related comments below.
[Photo by Charles Sykes/AP Images]