“It is so good to see you in person. Thank you for being here. Appropriately enough the theme tonight is ‘Together again,’” Miranda, 42, began while opening the show at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on Sunday, February 27, as Odom Jr., 40, teased, “Finally, we return to a world where all we have to do to hang out like this is get dressed up, show up, get swabbed, sanitized, screened, boosted, rapid-tested and PCR cleared within 48 hours. Now, who is ready to party?”
Diggs, 40, chimed in with a reassurance that the awards were following “the most up-to-date safety guidelines,” adding, “If anyone breaks the rules, our COVID compliance officers are from Squid Game.”
The Broadway vets gave shout-outs to nominees including Lady Gaga, Andrew Garfield and Javier Bardem. Miranda noted that some of those being honored on Sunday would be joining the celebration remotely due to coronavirus restrictions — “or because they owe Daveed money.”
Miranda previously starred as the titular character in the groundbreaking Broadway musical, which he also created. He gave his final performance in July 2016, shortly after winning the Tony Award for Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical. The New York native was also nominated for Best Actor in a Musical, but he was bested by costar Odom Jr., who portrayed Aaron Burr.
“I will cherish this,” the One Night in Miami actor said on stage while accepting the honor in June 2016, giving a shout-out to Miranda. “God bless you. You’ve given us a new vision of what’s possible.”
Hamilton walked away with a total of 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, from 16 nominations. Diggs won Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for his dual roles as both Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson.
The on-stage production is still a smash hit, and Hamilton‘s reach continued even further with the release of the 2020 Disney+ film adaptation. While fans were excited to have the show available on demand, Diggs made it clear that he wouldn’t be tuning in.
“I feel very proud of it, but I don’t think of myself as part of it anymore in the same way,” he told TheWrap in August 2021. “It’s like having a kid that’s grown up and you’re very proud of all the work. … As soon as I watch the movie, I don’t think my brain is strong enough to handle the fact that things will be different. I think as soon as I watch the movie, that’s going to become the version, and I know for a fact that it is substantially different than the one in my head.”
Following their Broadway success, the trio have since gone on to pursue work on both the big and small screens. In November 2021, Miranda made his directorial debut with Tick, Tick … Boom! starring Garfield, 38, who was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role at Sunday’s awards show. The actor previously took home a Golden Globe for portraying the late Jonathan Larson and is up for best actor at the 2022 Oscars.
“I knew he’d figure it out, because I’ve seen his work,” the In the Heights writer gushed of Garfield, who had never sung before being cast in the movie musical, during a January interview with Deadline. “It was just about giving him the time and resources to get there.”