To absolutely no one’s surprise, Broadway’s smash hit Hamilton broke Tony records when it received a whopping 16 nominations this morning.
The production was nominated for Best Musical and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda received nominations for Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, and Best Original Score written. An incredible three of the five spots for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical category were nabbed by Hamilton actors: Daveed Digg, Jonathan Groff and Christopher Jackson (pictured respectively below). Leslie Odom, Jr. was also nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. How amazing is that?
Two of the show’s wonderful leading ladies were nominated as well: Phillipa Soo (pictured far left) for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical and Renée Elise Goldsberry (center), who plays her sister, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical. Well deserved!
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip hop and rap-filled work of genius tells the story of founding father and patriot Alexander Hamilton. Miranda said that he recognized the ability to tell Hamilton’s story though hip hop music while reading Ron Chernow’s epic biography on Hamilton’s life. Having moved to this country with very little, Hamilton makes a name for himself through his writing and speech abilities – these elements are part of what Miranda felt would translate very well into a hip hop-type story. Mixed in with this genre and rap are more traditional musical theater-type numbers as well, so the show is sure to appease fans who prefer more traditional types of musicals as well as appealing to those looking for something more modern or unique.
Having seen the show, I can say it is nothing short of a work of sheer genius. The lyrics and music are among the best the Great White Way has ever seen. The rhymes that Miranda came up with are just mind-blowing (“New York City is”/”wittiest”/“insidious”, “cuckold”/”unbuckled”) and the performers are just amazing. All of the lead and featured performers were beyond amazing (For months, I’ve been describing Groff’s performance in the small but completely fabulous role of England’s King George as “perfect perfect.”). I actually felt a little disappointed when the entire cast came out to bow at once, as I wanted to show my appreciation for each actor individually. But that shows the kind of humble guy Miranda is – he wanted everyone on stage bowing simultaneously, like a true democracy. In summary, my mind was completely blown to bits all over the chair in front of me.
The previous record was held by by 2001’s The Producers, with 15 nominations. Hamilton is expected to also break that show’s record 12 wins. In 2009, Billy Elliot matched Producers nominations record, but did not score as many actual wins at the ceremony.
The 70th Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast live from New York City’s Beacon Theatre June 12 on CBS.
Here is the complete list of nominations for this ground-breaking show.