Barbra Streisand appeared for the first time since 1970 at Sunday’s Tony Awards. The last time she attended the event was 46 years ago when she received a special honor for “star of the decade.” Barbra Streisand announced Hamilton as the winner of the 2016 award for best musical.
Streisand also took a moment to comment about those killed in the Orlando shooting over the weekend, where about 50 people ended up dead and much more injured in a local gay nightclub that celebrated the “Latino Night.” She spoke about the comfort and happiness that the theater brings to those from all different backgrounds, as reported by Eonline.
“Tonight our joy is tinged with sorrow, but we are here to celebrate Broadway and the beauty that artistry can bring into this world,” Streisand said. “The artists that write the plays, the composers and the lyricists who write the songs, and the actors who bring them to life. Art can entertain us and educate us, and in times like these, console us.”
She also joked that her outfit, a long black skirt with a high slit, a matching blackjacked and a high-collared tan blouse with lacy sleeves, matched the blockbuster Broadway play honored due to the colonial-style ensemble.
A dedicated ceremony
Besides Streisand’s statement over the deadliest shooting in America’s history, the ceremony itself was dedicated to the victims and their family members. A statement from the Tony Awards said that their hearts were heavy for the unimaginable tragedy that happened over the weekend in Orlando and that their thoughts were with the families and friends of those affected.
According to the statement published by the Hollywood Reporter, the Tonys have deep ties to the LGBT community. Long before gay marriage entered the national conversation, Tony winners regularly were thanking their same-sex partners, reflecting the greater level of acceptance and visibility among the theater community compared to other branches of the entertainment industry.
The Hamilton cast, which took home 11 awards out of 16 nominations, dropped the use of prop muskets from their number performed during the Tony telecast. This was due to the Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster musical climaxes with the fatal shooting of Alexander Hamilton by Aaron Burr in a duel. This was perceived as a tragic resonance with the weekend’s gun violence that would not go unnoted.
Also, on Sunday Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Theresa Jacobs and Kathy Ramsberger, President, and CEO of Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, released a video thanking Broadway for its support, as reported by Mashable.
According to the statement to Broadway from Orlando, the support has helped them to start the healing process or their diverse community. Others prominent names in the theater community also condemned the acts, such as six-time Tony-winning performer Audra McDonald and previous winner Laura Benanti, nominated tonight for She Loves Me.
Source: E News