2016 – 70th Annual Tony Awards
Sunday, June 12, 2016
The Beacon Theatre
Broadcast on CBS
Executive Producers: Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss, White Cherry Entertainment
Director: Glenn Weiss
Musical Direction: Patrick Vaccariello
Writer: Dave Boone
Uzo Aduba, Cate Blanchett, Christian Borle, Edie Brickell, Glenn Close, Common, Claire Danes, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Josh Groban, Jake Gyllenhaal, Neil Patrick Harris, Sean Hayes, Nikki M. James, James Earl Jones, Daniel Dae Kim, Carole King, Diane Lane, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, Lucy Liu, Steve Martin, Marlee Matlin, Audra McDonald, Patina Miller, Bebe Neuwirth, Andrew Rannells, Chita Rivera, Saoirse Ronan, Keri Russell, Meg Ryan, Barbra Streisand, Aaron Tveit, Blair Underwood, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Oprah Winfrey and Mary Elizabeth Winstead
- Ode to the Host – The show began with a Hamilton parody featuring Tony-winners Leslie Odom, Jr. and Daveed Diggs to introduce the evening’s host – James Corden.
- Opening Number – James Corden told the story of “Young James” who was inspired by the theatre as a child. “That Could Be Me,” written by Gary Barlow and David Javerbaum and choreographed by Rob Ashford, celebrated classic Broadway shows including Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Grease, Sweeney Todd, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Sound of Music and more. Corden was joined onstage by the 2016 musical acting nominees.
- School of Rock – The Musical - Nominee Alex Brightman and the cast rocked out to “You’re in the Band.”
- Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed – Nominees Brandon Victor Dixon and Adrienne Warren, Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award recipient Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Billy Porter and Joshua Henry tapped the night away to “Broadway Blues.”
- She Loves Me – Gavin Creel, nominee Jane Krakowski and the cast dazzled in Ilona; nominee Zachary Levi performed the show’s title song and nominee Laura Benanti charmed the audience with “Vanilla Ice Cream.”
- Fiddler on the Roof – “Sunrise, Sunset” featured nominee Danny Burstein and the cast, who then danced in celebration at “The Wedding.”
- Bright Star – Nominees Steve Martin on the banjo and Edie Brickell on piano introduced nominee Carmen Cusack and the cast’s performance of “If You Knew My Story.”
- The Color Purple – The cast danced through the aisles to join Heather Headley and nominee Danielle Brooks onstage for “Mysterious Ways,” and Tony-winner Cynthia Erivo brought down the house proclaiming, “I’m Here.”
- On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan – Gloria Estefan joined Ana Villafañe, Josh Segarra and the cast in a medley of “Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” “Conga,” “Turn the Beat Around,” “Everlasting Love” and “Get On Your Feet.”
- Spring Awakening – The cast performed “Mama Who Bore Me” and “Bitch of Living” in English and American Sign Language.
- Hamilton – Tony-winners Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom, Jr., Renée Elise Goldsberry, Daveed Diggs; nominees Phillipa Soo and Christopher Jackson; and the cast performed “History Has Its Eyes on You” and “Yorktown.”
- Waitress – Nominees Jessie Mueller and Christopher Fitzgerald and the cast performed “Opening Up,” followed by nominee Sara Bareilles joining Mueller for “She Used to Be Mine.”
- Chicago Anniversary – Bebe Neuwirth and the show’s current cast celebrated 20 years of razzle dazzle with a Chicago medley.
- In Memoriam – Chita Rivera introduced the In Memoriam segment, paying tribute to members of the Broadway community who passed during the year.
- Curtain Call – The cast of the Tony-winning Best Musical, Hamilton, closed the show with “The Schuyler Sisters.”
- Carpool Karaoke – Host James Corden and Tony-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda rapped along to Hamilton’s “Alexander Hamilton” and “Guns and Ships.” Tony-nominee Jane Krakowski, past Tony-winner Audra McDonald and Jesse Tyler Ferguson hopped in the backseat in time to sing along to Rent’s “Seasons of Love,” Jersey Boys’ “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “One Day More” from Les Misérables.
- Best Play Presentation – Claire Danes introduced each of the season’s Tony-nominated Best Plays: Eclipsed, The Father, The Humans and King Charles III.
- Best Revival of a Play Presentation – Diane Lane introduced the season’s Best Revival of a Play nominees: Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, Blackbird, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Noises Off.
- The evening featured outdoor performances by nominees and nominated shows singing Broadway classics taking viewers into commercial breaks. They included:
- The six Best Score nominees— Sara Bareilles, Edie Brickell, Steve Martin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Glenn Slater and Andrew Lloyd Webber—performed “Tomorrow” from Annie.
- The cast of Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed performed “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat” from Guys and Dolls.
- The cast of School of Rock – The Musical performed the title song from The Phantom of the Opera.
- The cast of Fiddler on the Roof performed “There’s No Business Like Show Business” from Annie Get Your Gun.
- The cast of She Loves Me performed the title song from Cabaret.
- The cast of Bright Star performed “Heart” from Damn Yankees.
- The cast of The Color Purple performed “Circle of Life” from The Lion King.
- The cast of Spring Awakening performed “I Got Life” from Hair.
- The cast of Hamilton performed “Finale B” from Rent.
- The cast of Waitress performed “All That Jazz” from Chicago.
- Blair Underwood acknowledged Marilyn McCormick of Cass Technical High School in Detroit, MI, the recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Theatre Education Award, presented by Carnegie Mellon University and the Tony Awards.
- Past Tony-winners Christian Borle and Nikki M. James co-hosted the Creative Arts Awards, sponsored by City National Bank, which took place prior to and during breaks in the telecast.
- Live coverage of the Tony Awards red carpet and behind-the-scenes footage was streamed on TonyAwards.com and other platforms. “Live on the Tony Awards Red Carpet Show,” presented by Nordstrom, was co-hosted by Alicia Quarles, Laura Michelle Kelly, Jordan Roth, past Tony-winner Karen Olivo, Edward Barsamian, Esosa, Randi Zuckerberg and Blake Ross. The “Tony Awards Behind-the-Scenes Show,” presented by BroadwayHD, was co-hosted by past Tony-nominee Laura Osnes, past Tony-nominee Max von Essen, Josh Segarra, Justin Guarini, Jenna Ushkowitz and past Tony-winner Karen Olivo.
The 2016 Tony Awards ceremony was dedicated to those affected by the tragedy in Orlando, Florida in the early morning of June 12. The telecast began with the following statement by Host James Corden on behalf of the Tony Awards:
All around the world people are trying to come to terms with the horrific events that took place in Orlando this morning. On behalf of the whole theatre community and every person in this room, our hearts go out to all of those affected by this atrocity. All we can say is you are not on your own right now. Your tragedy is our tragedy. Theatre is a place where every race, creed, sexuality, and gender is equal, is embraced, and is loved. Hate will never win. Together we have to make sure of that. Tonight’s show stands a symbol and a celebration of that principle. This is the Tony Awards.