The 2016 Tony Awards ceremony honored theater’s biggest stars, who were on the job even there. The best part of the Tonys presentation is getting to see performances representing the top musicals on Broadway, and those delivering them this year gave it their all at the Beacon Theatre in New York Sunday. Here are the eight best showstoppers of the night.
1. The Opening. After a couple of years of lackluster openings, James Corden dominated this sequence. The host of “The Late Late Show with James Corden” told jokes that were actually funny, and he paid tribute to many great musicals.
2. “Hamilton.” Obviously, “Hamilton,” highlighting the night by winning 11 awards, was great. Both the introduction and the performance of its cast were impressive, with U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama taping a special message for the event.
3. “Waitress.” This performance showcased “Waitress” star Jessie Mueller while also allowing composer Sara Bareilles to show off her talents.
4. “Spring Awakening.” This revival closed in January, but its performers didn’t appear at all out of practice. The rock musical incorporated deaf actors and American Sign Language, as it made Ali Stroker the first actress in a wheelchair on Broadway.
5. “The Color Purple.” Cynthia Erivo proved why she deserved the best leading actress in a musical award during the performance by the show’s cast.
6. “Shuffle Along.” Pregnancy didn’t keep Audra McDonald from donning her tap shoes for the Tony Awards performance. And the jazz choreography featuring the show’s whole cast was impressive.
7. “She Loves Me.” From Laura Benanti’s high notes to Jane Krakowski’s splits, everybody got a chance to shine in this upbeat medley of songs in the revival “She Loves Me.”
8. “Hamilton.” The Tony Awards ceremony closed on a high note with the cast of “Hamilton” delivering “The Schuyler Sisters” right after the production won best musical honors. The extra performance gave Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jasmine Cephas Jones and Phillipa Soo chances to shine after they were underused in the other “Hamilton” performance.
Which Tony Awards performances did you love the most? Sound off in the comments section below!