Updated: Hamilton Choreographer on Removing Muskets from Tonys Performance

Tony Awards   Updated: Hamilton Choreographer on Removing Muskets from Tonys Performance
Following the mass shooting in Orlando, the cast will not brandish muskets during the Tony performance at the Beacon. Andy Blankenbuehler reflects on the red carpet.
Christopher Jackson as George Washington in <i>Hamilton</i>
Christopher Jackson as George Washington in Hamilton Joan Marcus

In light of the devastating tragedy in Orlando, FL, a representative from the Hamilton press team confirmed earlier today that Hamilton has amended its performance for tonight’s Tony Awards.

The cast will not carry muskets, normally part of the prize-winning musical, in their number due to last night’s shooting.

On the Tony Awards red carpet, Tony-nominated choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler told Playbill, “It’s interesting, I think the most important moment for me in ‘Yorktown’… I don’t know if people have noticed this, but the ending of ‘Battle of Yorktown’ is the first time the American forces ever put guns in their hands, so to go through the whole show with no guns, and then the moment they win—they have guns in their hands, and they immediately put them down... The moment of putting them down is actually one of my favorite moments in the show. That’s America to me. That’s the American Revolution. That’s our America today. It’s not taking up arms; it’s wanting to put them down so that things can be right. I think that our decision to take out the guns today followed into that. I said to the cast, ‘When you put your not-gun gun to the floor today, that should be the whole show.’”

The official Tony Awards Twitter account tweeted this morning that tonight’s ceremony will be dedicated to “the family and friends of those affected” by the tragedy.

A spokesperson on behalf of Tony Awards Productions and CBS issued a statement to Playbill.com stating: “Out of respect for this morning's events we dedicate tonight's ceremony, broadcast and all of the performances to those affected by this tragedy. The Tony Awards is about celebrating live theater, illuminating the human condition in all its diverse forms. We walk into the Beacon Theater tonight with thoughts of our brothers and sisters in Orlando clearly in our hearts.”

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