Saturday, October 23, 2021

‘Hello, Dolly!’ swept the Tonys. Trump, however, surely misses this source of theatrical diversity.

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The 2018 Tony Awards in New York City was an effort to renew old friendships and introduce new ones while honoring the achievements of the year’s most daring and exciting new works. The event, hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, took place in the same theater where Hello, Dolly! is currently playing. It helped a cultural institution put on a proper production.

The ceremony was held during an era marked by tumult. President Donald Trump, taking to Twitter after the show, seemed to suggest otherwise. When you win this Tony, you win the right to trash New York and pay your inheritance tax,” he wrote, sharing a news story about one of the show’s nominees.

Many more notable people in the theater world, including several presenters, used the evening to decry the president’s policies. Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the musical Hamilton, raised the decibel level throughout the ceremony when he took the stage at Radio City Music Hall to bestow the award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical on cast member Javier Muñoz. “For those of you in the White House, I want to say thank you,” he said.

From the ribbon-cutting ceremony to the actual show, some figures on stage, among them Patti LuPone, Cynthia Erivo, Ben Platt, and Josh Groban, went on to criticise the president in their speeches and in the evening’s opening number.

The performers all used their individual hits to represent everyone in the diverse Broadway theater community, be it an ethnic minority or LGBTQ person. As Kristin Chenoweth put it: “There’s no one that’s told us we can’t do this.” Everyone, but Mr. Trump.

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