'Love is Love is Love is Love is Love'
On the morning of June 12, 2016, America woke up to heartbreak: the largest mass shooting in the country's history at an LGBTQ dance club in Orlando.
What happened is a hate crime, a terrorist attack, and a national tragedy. But on Broadway, as in life, the show must go on. And the Tony Awards, Broadway's annual celebration, filled the stage at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.
Both places, dance clubs and Broadway, have long been safe havens where LGBTQ people have been free to express themselves without judgement. And so while these two events could not be more different, tonight's show holds a special significance. It gives the artists of Broadway a chance to further honor the community that has been a part of them for so long, which was so cruelly targeted in Orlando.
At this year's Tony Awards, Lin-Manuel Miranda's phenomenon "Hamilton" is winning nearly every other award.
He's likely to give many speeches tonight, but his first speech, for best musical score, has already hit the right notes.
When Miranda won big at the Tony Awards in 2008 for "In the Heights," he freestyled his thank-you speech. But tonight demanded something different. So instead, he wrote a sonnet and somehow managed, in just 16 lines, to say everything we needed to hear.
He started by thanking his wife, Vanessa Nadal, but quickly turned his moment of thanks into a poetic tribute on the searing events of the past 24 hours, incorporating the #loveislove rallying cry that's been ricocheting around Twitter all evening in support of the LGBTQ community.
Read his words below:
"My wife’s the reason anything gets done.
She nudges me towards promise by degrees.
She is a perfect symphony of one,
our son is her most beautiful reprise.
We chase the melodies that seem to find us,
until they’re finished songs and start to play,
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 where hate and fear seem stronger.
We rise and fall, and light from dying embers:
remembrances that hope and love last longer.
And love is love is love is love is love
is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story.
Now fill the world with music, love, and pride."