The show must go on, but not without remembering those lost in the horrific Orlando Shooting. Not only were the Tony Awards dedicated to the victims and their loved ones, but celebrities remembered the lives lost by wearing a silver ribbon on the red carpet.
Less than 24 hours after deranged gunman Omar Mateen, 29, murdered 50 people inside Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Broadway stars walked the red carpet at the Tony Awards. However, both the show and celebrities alike made sure not to forget the horrific tragedy by wearing a keepsake to remind them of the heartbreaking event that rocked America to it’s core.
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“Our hearts go out to all of those affected by this atrocity,” host James Corden told the camera at the beginning of the show, the audience sitting silently behind him. “Your tragedy is our tragedy. Theatre is a place where every race, creed, sexuality, and gender is equal, is embraced, and is loved.”
His message was only a small piece of a night filled with tributes to those who were senselessly taken from their loved ones. Hours before the Tony Awards red carpet opened, show runners released a statement to share that they would be dedicating the show and all of it’s performances to the lives that were senselessly taken from us in the early hours of Sunday morning, June 12.
When stars arrived at the 2016 Tony Awards, they were offered a small silver ribbon to pin onto their clothes. The ribbon was made specifically to remember the victims of the Orlando shooting, and to keep them on everyone’s minds even as they celebrated Broadway’s biggest night. It was a touching tribute, and wonderful to see so many stars keeping the victims close to their hearts on the red carpet.
Later in the show, when Lin-Manuel Miranda won for Best Score for his show, Hamilton, he read a sonnet that he wrote about his beautiful wife, Vanessa Nadal. In the sonnet, he referenced the Orlando shooting: “When senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised, not one day, this show is proof that history remembers we live through times when hate and fear seem stronger. We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer.” Absolutely touching.
Along with Lin’s message, the cast of Hamilton also revealed that they would not be using their muskets during their performance. This was their way of respecting the ruthless killing, in which an armed gunman murdered 50 people inside of a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. So horrible.
Like those at the Tonys, our thoughts remain with the family and friends of the victims in the Orlando shooting.