Tony Awards: ‘Our hearts are heavy’ but show will go on

50 dead, 53 injured in worst mass shooting in U.S. history

Organizers of the Tony Awards say the show will go on in the wake of a horrific mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, early Sunday.

The Tonys, Broadway’s biggest night of the year, are scheduled to begin at the Beacon Theatre in New York at 8 p.m. ET Sunday. CBS will televise the awards show.

“Our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy that happened last night in Orlando,” the organizers said in a statement Sunday morning.

“Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected. The Tony Awards dedicate tonight’s ceremony to them,” the organizers said.

There remains speculation about how the awards show will be altered to acknowledge the Orlando attack. The shooting, at a gay nightclub, has left an estimated 50 dead and another 53 injured. It is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

Before Sunday, the headline around the Tony Awards had been whether “Hamilton” would make history. The hip hop musical about Alexander Hamilton, is nominated for a record 16 nominations.

“Hamilton” is up for two of the biggest awards: Best Musical and Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Lin-Manuel Miranda and co-star Leslie Odom Jr. are nominees).

The show, which casts people of color as our nation’s Founding Fathers, needs to win 13 awards to break the record for most Tony wins for a musical. The current record holder is held by “The Producers,” which won 12 in 2001.

Although “Hamilton” is expected to sweep most of its categories, some other big wins are also up for grabs.

Stephen Karam’s “The Humans” is a fan favorite to win Best Play and Jessica Lange, Lupita Wyong’o and Michelle Williams are competing against one another for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Play.

The Tony Awards, hosted by James Corden, could have a historic night thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton.”

Related: Why ‘Hamilton’ became a phenomenon

James Corden is the other reason to tune into the Tonys. The host of “The Late Late Show” will emcee.

It’s a big moment for Corden, the British host whose talk show normally hits the airwaves after midnight. But he’s no stranger to the stage; he won a Tony in 2012 for Best Actor in a play for “One Man, Two Guvnors.”

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