The ‘Hamilton’ Cast Performed At The Tony Awards Without Prop Guns In Honor Of Orlando Victims
In the wake of the horrifyingly tragic Orlando shooting, The Tony Awards served as a healing balm for its viewers Sunday night. As a sign of respect to those mourning, the Hamilton performance was dedicated to the Orlando shooting victims. The cast removed all props from their performance as part of their dedication, eliminating the muskets they normally feature, and unsurprisingly still managed to blow the audience away.
“The muskets have been eliminated from tonight’s performance in light of today’s event in Orlando,” Hamilton spokesperson, Sam Rudy, shared in an interview with Deadline. As was quickly made apparent, the cast of Hamilton didn’t need any props in order to perform spectacularly, which makes sense considering the fact that they were nominated for a record-breaking 16 Tony Awards.
Following the tragedy early that morning, organizers decided to dedicate the whole awards show to the victims of the Orlando shooting and their families. Producers of the Tony Awards shared their condolences in an official release yesterday:
“Our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy that happened last night in Orlando. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected. The Tony Awards dedicate tonight’s ceremony to them.”
Many of the Tony-nominated actors and actresses also posted tweets and statements in response to the tragedy. The genius behind the Broadway hit, Lin-Manuel Miranda, tweeted out support for the victims Sunday with a rainbow heart.
Honestly, if there is anything that induces widespread healing, it’s watching Miranda break out in song and dance (and rapping) with his cast of impressive and notably attractive actors.
The decision to remove muskets and prop weapons from their performance was a powerful and pointed nod to our country’s pervasive issues with gun violence. The performers managed to perform their routine with the same choreography, only this time the moments that would normally feature a weapon featured a hushed space that represented the space left by those lost in the Orlando shooting.
At first, the concept of performing without props seemed like an arbitrary dedication, but if you really watch their performance and note all the places they’d normally be using weapons (see the gif below) the lack of guns lighten the scenes into something depicting playfulness rather than warfare.
Watching the performance made me wonder how different a full-production of Hamilton would feel sans weapons. Would it tarnish or dilute the plot too much? Would the moments of tenseness be the same?
We can only speculate at this point, but either way, you can watch last night’s incredible performance and appreciate their inventiveness.