Hip-hop musical Hamilton dominates Tony awards

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By BBC

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The hip-hop musical Hamilton has dominated the Tony Awards in New York.

A hit show about the life of one of America’s founding fathers, it won best musical, score and lead actor awards, but failed to beat the record of 12 statuettes.

Barack and Michelle Obama introduced the cast of the musical with a video message at the ceremony.

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But the night was overshadowed by the news that 50 people had been killed in a gay club in Orlando the night before.

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British comedian turned US chat show star James Corden opened the show with a tribute to diversity.

He said: “Hate will never win. Tonight’s show stands as a symbol and a celebration of that principle.”

The Hamilton cast changed their performance in the light of the shooting – they left their prop guns behind when they took to the stage.

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Hamilton had been nominated in 16 categories. But it failed to match the unprecedented 12 Tonys won by The Producers in 2001.

Hamilton, which won the Pulitzer Prize for drama earlier this year, has been hailed as “a landmark American musical”, garnering celebrity fans including Star Wars director JJ Abrams, Jay Z and President Obama.

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In addition to blockbuster ticket sales, the album of the show is the highest-selling cast recording for 50 years, picking up this year’s Grammy Award for best musical theatre album.

For the first time, all four Tony award-winning actors were black.

Among them, Britain’s Cynthia Erivo won best actress in a musical for her leading role in the Broadway revival of The Color Purple.

 

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