In response to the mass shooting at Orlando gay club Pulse late Saturday night, the Hamilton cast will no longer use muskets during their performance at tonight’s Tonys Awards. The cast is planning on doing a medley of “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” and “History Has Its Eyes On You”, the former song which involves choreography utilizing guns and representations of violence. Which can both be expected when singing a song about a pivotal and intense battle during Revolutionary War. Instead, according to CBS News, the cast will pantomime the movements during the song instead of carrying guns with them onstage.
The cast is understandably excited about performing at the Tonys, but their hearts are also heavy with the thoughts of those killed in Orlando early Sunday morning. Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer and star of the show, tweeted out a simple image that said it all earlier today.
Broadway has so many ties to the LGBT community that many voices from the industry have spoken up with prayers or anger about the attack throughout the day. The Tonys have dedicated tonight’s show to the lives lost in the shooting, which is now the most deadly mass shooting in United States’ history. At a time when a musical about the birth of our country is making headlines and reminding us all of the amazing things the US is capable of, current events are a sad reminder of all the tragedy we deal with every day as well.
TNT drama The Last Ship is also responding to the attacks with a shift in plans. The Season 3 premiere, originally scheduled for Sunday night, will no longer air today out of respect for the victims and their families. While the network did not release a specific reason for shifting the premiere, sources say the episode featured a shooting in a Vietnamese nightclub, which would definitely be insensitive to air less than 24 hours after the Pulse massacre.
Good on the Hamilton cast for thinking of those watching the Tonys from the audience or at home and what might be triggering for viewers or insensitive considering the situation, and kudos to TNT for the quick rescheduling and acknowledgement of what would be a terrible parallel between television and reality.