×

How Will the Tony Awards Acknowledge the Orlando Shooting?

The dress rehearsal for the 2016 Tony Awards answered a lot of questions — from what song the cast of “Hamilton” will perform to which award Barbra Streisand will present — but attendees at the Sunday morning run-through still had one lingering uncertainty when it was all over: How will the Tonycast acknowledge the shootings in Orlando that occurred less than 24 hours before Broadway’s biggest night?

Representatives for “Hamilton,” the musical expected to come out on top at the awards ceremony, have confirmed that the show’s Tony number will drop the use of prop muskets. Those muskets were used during the rehearsal itself, during which no formal mention of the events in Florida was made, except for one crew member, standing in for a winner at the podium, sending his thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.

“They mentioned it once, but I thought it would have been nice if they did something a little bit more,” said Karen Russell from upstate New York, who attended the rehearsal through a charity auction.

Other audience members at the rehearsal acknowledged the challenges in taking note of the tragedy in a sensitive fashion, but believed it should — and ultimately would — be done.

“It’s a hard thing to do, but it probably should be mentioned, considering the venue of the shooting,” said Astrid Cook from Brooklyn. “There’s strong support for the LGBTQ community in the New York theater scene, and I suspect that [ceremony host] James Corden will probably work something in tonight. I wouldn’t be surprised if he says something at the beginning of the show.”

The events in Orlando will also likely effect security at the Tony ceremony. There’s been no formal announcement made by the Tony producers, but attendees did get an email in the afternoon warning them to arrive at the venue half an hour earlier than usual, due to “main street closures in the area of the Beacon Theater,” the Upper West Side theater where the ceremony will take place.

It seemed certain, in any event, that last night’s shootings will be in the minds of many as the telecast hits the airwaves.

“The show must go on, but they also must be aware of reality,” said Juan-Jose Gonzalez of BroadwayWorld Spain, one of the many press outlets attending the rehearsal. “Theater cannot be outside of what happens in the world.”

For now, Tony Awards Productions has sent out the following statement via email and social media: “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.”

More Legit

  • Because of Winn Dixie review

    Regional Theater Review: 'Because of Winn Dixie,' the Musical

    Watching the musical “Because of Winn Dixie” at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, Conn., it’s hard not to think of another show that premiered in the same regional theater 43 years ago. It, too, featured a scruffy stray dog, a lonely-but-enterprising young girl and a closed-off daddy who finally opens up. But “Winn Dixie,” based [...]

  • MOSCOW MOSCOW MOSCOW MOSCOW MOSCOW MOSCOWby

    Off Broadway Review: 'Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow'

    There’s something about Anton Chekhov’s whiny sisters that invites comic sendups of “Three Sisters” like the one Halley Feiffer wrote on commission for the Williamstown Theater Festival. Transferred to MCC Theater’s new Off Broadway space and playing in the round in a black box with limited seating capacity, the crafty show feels intimate and familiar. [...]

  • the way she spoke review

    Off Broadway Review: 'The Way She Spoke' With Kate del Castillo

    Since the 1990s, scores of women in Juarez, Mexico have been mutilated, raped, and murdered at such a rate that some have called it an epidemic of femicide—killing women and girls solely because they are women. Isaac Gomez’s play “the way she spoke,” produced Off Broadway by Audible and starring Kate del Castillo, confronts the [...]

  • HBO's 'SUCCESSION

    Brian Cox Playing LBJ in Broadway Run of 'The Great Society'

    Brian Cox will play President Lyndon Johnson in the Broadway run of “The Great Society,” playwright Robert Schenkkan’s follow-up to “All the Way.” The role of Johnson, a crude, but visionary politician who used the office of the presidency to pass landmark civil rights legislation and social programs, was originally played by Bryan Cranston in [...]

  • Paul McCartney Has Penned Score for

    Paul McCartney Has Been Secretly Writing an 'It's a Wonderful Life' Musical

    The pop superstar who once released a movie and album called “Give My Regards to Broad Street” really does have designs on Broadway, after all. It was revealed Wednesday that Paul McCartney has already written a song score for a stage musical adaptation of the 1946 Frank Capra film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The [...]

  • The Night of the Iguana review

    West End Review: 'The Night of the Iguana' With Clive Owen

    If Tennessee Williams is the poet laureate of lost souls, none of his characters as are off-grid as the restless travelers trying to make it through his little-seen 1961 play, “The Night of the Iguana.” Holed up in a remote Mexican homestay, its ragtag itinerants live hand-to-mouth, day by day, as they seek refuge from [...]

  • Moulin Rouge Broadway

    Listen: The Special Sauce in Broadway's 'Moulin Rouge!'

    There are songs in the new Broadway version of “Moulin Rouge!” that weren’t in Baz Luhrmann’s hit movie — but you probably know them anyway. They’re popular tunes by superstars like Beyoncé, Adele and Rihanna, released after the 2001 movie came out, and they’ll probably unleash a flood of memories and associations in every audience [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content