It was a somber night to be presenting entertainment awards but the Tonys managed to pull it off, with a respectful opening invocation and with speeches peppered throughout that called for unity, diversity, tolerance and even sanity in light of the horrific massacre in Orlando. And as if guided by providence, the big winner of the night, as expected, was a testament to scrappy American wherewithal — the hip-hop historical tour de force Hamilton, which took 11 total awards, including best musical.
It was unlikely the show would break the record for wins — 12, held by The Producers — even with its record-setting 16 nominations, in part because it was so often in competition for itself. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show’s creator, had to make due with two wins (score and book of a musical) out of three nominations — he lost best leading actor to Leslie Odom Jr. … for Hamilton. The show also took home trophies for best featured actor (Daveed Diggs), featured actress (Renee Elise Goldsberry), director of a musical, orchestrations, choreography, costume design for a musical and lighting design for a musical. It only outright lost in two categories — scenic design of a musical (which won She Loves Me its only Tony) and best actress in a musical, which went to Cynthia Erivo as Celie in the new production of The Color Purple, which also best best musical revival.
In the play category, the night’s big winner was out producer Scott Rudin, who was lead producer on both best play winner The Humans (which also won for best featured actor Reed Birney, best featured actress Jayne Houdyshell, and best scenic design of a play ) and best revival of a play winner A View from the Bridge, which also took best director of a play honors. Leading actress in a play went to Jessica Lange for Long Day’s Journey into Night, which also won for lighting design of a play. Best actor in a play was four-timer Frank Langella in The Father, and Eclipsed won its only award for best costume design for a play.