Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Nightclub Shooting Impacts Mood At Award Show

Published:Tuesday | June 14, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Actor Frank Langella speaks after winning the award for best actor in a leading role in a play for his work in 'The Father', at the Tony Awards.

At least 50 people died early Sunday when a gunman opened fire inside a crowded nightclub in Orlando, Florida. It was the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

In response to the shooting, Hamilton will drop its use of muskets in its performance, according to a spokesman for the musical. The Tony show also created a silver ribbon for stars to wear in solidarity and they were seen on the suits of actor Sean Hayes and director George C. Wolfe.

"My heart is saddened by it," said Jeffrey Seller, producer of Hamilton. ''The celebration tonight is tempered by it."

The shooting was close to home for Christopher Fitzgerald, a nominee for the musical Waitress, who went to school in Orlando.

"I'm heartbroken. I think everybody is feeling it, so we are at least all coming together to celebrate and not live in fear," he said.

The show itself seemed to burst out of the smallish Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side, taking a page from the weekly free public concerts outside Hamilton to put performers from the nominated shows on tiny stages outside the venue serenading the crowd before and after commercial breaks. Another highlight was watching Josh Groban play Tevye in a high school production of Fiddler on the Roof.

Women also broke records: Eclipsed is the first ever Broadway play to feature a director, writer, and cast who are all women and also all black. On the musical side, Waitress marked the first time that the four top creative spots in a show composer, choreographer, book writer, and director were four women.