This year's Tony Awards brought out a lot of pride for CMU (Carnegie Mellon University) alumni and students, when two alumni each received one of theatre's most prestigious recognitions. Leslie Odom, Jr. won his first Tony for best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical (he plays Aaron Burr in the huge huge huge hit, "Hamilton."). Renée Elise Goldsberry received her first Tony for best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical (also from "Hamilton"--she plays Angelica Schuyler). I had the pleasure of going to CMU at the same time as Leslie and can say that he not only displays record talent, but from the little bit I knew of him at CMU, he displayed class, hard work ethic, humility, appreciation and a Tony-winning smile.
Not only did these fabulous actors win their awards, but other CMU alumni were nominated for the Tony Awards this year: Jamie DeRoy, Peggy Eisenhauer, Jules Fisher, Ann Roth, and Megan Hilty. I went to school with Megan and worked with her a bit there, and, while we can all attest to her amazing talent, I will reiterate her beauty--inside and out--with kindness, fantastic work ethic, devotion, humor, and grace.
So there was pride all around for the theatre community, to see so many accomplishments recognized this year, but a special dose of this pride went to the CMU family, as the number of Tony Awards received by this university's alumni has now risen to 43.
If you missed the ceremony this year on June 12, 2016, you can still check out some performances here. While on the Tony Awards site, you can also view all of the 2016 winners, as well as the 2016 nominees.
Congratulations to all of the nominees, winners, and the many other theatrical artists who work tirelessly and with great talent to bring theatre to the public on all levels.
Oh--and if you want to finally get tickets to Hamilton...well...they had a block of tickets that went on sale at 11:15pm, right after the Tony Awards, and you might be able to, kind of, sometimes, manage to maybe snag a seat ("resale" only)...but you're best bet now is to get on their email list so you can be alerted when tickets are, at least, easier to get!