Some special moments at Sunday's Tony Awards
NEW YORK —; As presenter Barbra Streisand noted, "tonight our joy is tinged with sorrow" — and she wasn't the only one making reference to the horrific Orlando shootings during the Tony Awards ceremony. But the night was also a celebration of the power of theater to bring joy. And there much joy for the cast and creators of the wildly popular "Hamilton," which won a whopping 11 Tonys.
A look at some of the night's top moments, both onstage and off:
Barbra dresses just right
Introducing Streisand, host James Corden warned that medical personnel were standing by, just in case her return was too exciting for some. She was appearing on the Tony stage for the first time since 1970 to present the award for Best Musical — to "Hamilton," of course. "You're making me verklempt!" she called out when the crowd gave her an ovation. Dressed in a ruffled, high-collared white blouse and black vest, she quipped when she opened the envelope: "Thank God I picked the right outfit."
The look of diversity
For all the talk about diversity and inclusiveness this season (absent at the Oscars, present at the Tonys), nothing could beat one powerful image: All four of the musical acting winners were black actors. "Think of tonight as the Oscars, but with diversity," Corden had said at the beginning of the show. "It's so diverse that Donald Trump has threatened to build a wall around this theater."
A searing sonnet
"Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, the eloquent hero of this Broadway season, is known for giving acceptance speeches in freestyling rap. But on this night, he told the crowd, he opted to write a sonnet instead. His own tears over the Orlando tragedy were infectious, as he spoke of "when senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing is promised, not one day." But, he added: "Hope and love last longer, and love is love is love is love."
What you didn't see
During commercial breaks, Corden worked the crowd a bit, and this included enlisting prominent audience members for impromptu singalongs. He got Jeff Daniels to sing from "The Sound of Music," and he got Jake Gyllenhaal and Sean Hayes to sing from "Aladdin." When he saw that Gyllenhaal was chewing gum, he simply took it and put it in his own mouth.
Blast from the past for Groban
Speaking of "Fiddler," Corden had a surprise for presenter Josh Groban: He unearthed, and played, a clip of the singer performing Tevye as a high school student. Groban seemed to have a good sense of humor about it.
Many people thank their parents or their kids in their speeches, but Renee Elise Goldsberry, who plays Angelica Schuyler in "Hamilton," had an especially poignant moment speaking about her years-long struggle to become a mother. "If you know anything about me you know I've spent the last 10 years just trying to have children," she said. "God gave me Benjamin, he gave me Brielle — and he still gave me this," she said, gesturing to her Tony.
A little self-esteem can't hurt
Sheldon Harnick, the 92-year-old lyricist, wasn't above a little healthy self-promotion when he received his Lifetime Achievement Award.
Responding to the accolades that had just been showered upon him, he replied: "Thank you. If I didn't deserve it, this would be embarrassing."
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