Tony Lights Dim for Orlando Tragedy

With the tragedy that took place in Orlando's Pulse Nightclub sitting heavy in everyone's heart, host James Corden opened the 70th Annual Tony Awards ceremony with an emotional statement. "Good evening. All around the world, people are trying to come to terms with the horrific events that took place in Orlando this morning. On behalf of the whole theater community and every person in this room, our hearts go out to all of those affected by this atrocity."

James Corden Tony Awards

"All we can say is that 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. Together, we have to make sure of that. Tonight's show stands as a symbol and a celebration of that principle. This is the Tony Awards." 

Within GLAAD's statement on the massacre, President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said that "As we mourn the victims of this unspeakable attack, we are also reminded that the work to end hate in all its forms must continue."  Please visit the official Pulse Victims Fund page for Equality Florida, the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization. Equality Florida is collecting contributions via this GoFundMe page to support the victims of the horrific shooting at Orlando's Pulse Nightclub. 

Andrew Rannells TonyThroughout the evening, presenters, honorees and audience members wore silver ribbons specially created by 6 time Tony winning costume designer William Ivey Long, honoring those who died and were wounded at the Pulse. 

Going into the evening, Hamilton was the odds-on favorite with a record 16 nominations. The musical went on to win 11 Tonys, including for best original score, featured actress in a musical, featured actor in a musical and direction of a musical, among several others. When Lin-Manuel Miranda accepted for Best Score, he performed an emotional sonnet for his wife as his acceptance speech: "She is a perfect symphony of one." And then referencing the Pulse tragedy, he went on to rap "Love is love is love is love -- cannot be killed or swept aside."

Jonathan Groff was nominated for Featured Actor in a Musical, but lost out to fellow Hamilton actor Daveed Diggs.  Andrew Rannells, Best Actor in a Musical nominee for 2011's The Book of Mormon, presented the Best Featured Actor in a Play award.  Later into the evening, Frank Langella, accepting his fourth Tony Award, was moved to share his thoughts on the tragedy that took place in Orlando.

Frank Langella Tony Awards

"I found some words that will mean more to you than a litany of names," Langella began.  "When something bad happens, we have three choices.  We can let it define us, we can let it destroy us or we can let it strengthen us.  Today in Orlando, we had a hideous dose of reality.  I urge you Orlando to be strong.  I'm standing in a room full of the most generous human beings on earth and we will be with you every step of the way."

The definite high point of the evening was the appearance of Barbara Streisand, appearing at the Tony Awards for the first time since 1970, presenting the award for Best Musical.  It came as no surprise that Hamilton won top honors.For a full listing of the 70th Annual Tony Award recipients, visit the home of the Tony Awards.