Stars at the Tony Awards pay tribute to victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting

The stars at the Tony Awards decided the show must go on despite today's shooting in Orlando, but paid tribute as they accepted their awards.

Many of the stars expressed their sorrow and disappointment, but most talked about how art was the forn they should express themselves, and how theatre is a point for the LGBT community to rally around.

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Host James Corden opened the event with a somber speech.

"On behalf of the whole theatre community and every person in this room, our hearts go out to all of those affected by this atrocity. All we can say is you're not on your own right now," he said.

"Your tragedy is our tragedy. Theatre is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, is embraced, and is loved. Hate will never win. Together, we have to make sure of that. Tonight's show stands as a symbol and celebration of that principle."

Hamilton won 11 awards of 16 nominations at the Tony Awards. Photo / Getty Images
Hamilton won 11 awards of 16 nominations at the Tony Awards. Photo / Getty Images

Lin-Manuel Miranda performed a sonnet, in which he said: "when senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised, not one day....love is love is love...cannot be killed or swept aside.

"Now fill the world with music, love and pride."

Jennifer Simard, a lead actress nominee for the musical Disaster!, said "You have that first feeling of 'Is it appropriate to smile? Is it appropriate to laugh?'"

"Art is the way we express ourselves and put a spotlight on problems of the moment. I hope that the victims and their families know how this community is putting their arms around them. Love wins," she added.

And Alex Brightman, star of School of Rock, reminded everyone that theatre is important because, "What we do is to take people away from their lives for two and a half hours".

Hamilton led the awards, taking out 11 awards from 16 nominations, including best musical. The full list of Tony Award winners is below:

Best Musical: Hamilton
Best Revival of a Musical: The Color Purple
Best Play: The Humans
Best Revival of a Play: Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge
Best Lead Actor in a Musical: Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton
Best Lead Actress in a Musical: Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Best Lead Actor in a Play: Frank Langella, The Father
Best Lead Actress in a Play: Jessica Lange, Long Day's Journey Into Night
Best Featured Actress in a Play: Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
Best Featured Actress in a Musical: Renee Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Best Featured Actor in a Musical: Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Best Featured Actor in a Play: Reed Birney, The Humans
Best Original Score: Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda
Best Book of a Musical: Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda
Best Direction of a Play: Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge
Best Direction of a Musical: Thomas Kail, Hamilton
Best Orchestrations: Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
Best Lighting Design of a Musical: Howell Binkley, Hamilton
Best Lighting Design of a Play: Natasha Katz, Long Day's Journey Into Night
Best Scenic Design of a Musical: David Rockwell, She Loves Me
Best Scenic Design of a Play: David Zinn, The Humans
Best Costume Design of a Musical: Paul Tazewell, Hamilton
Best Costume Design of a Play: Clint Ramos, Eclipsed
Best Choreography: Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton

- NZ Herald

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