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Lin-Manuel Miranda Brings Tonys Audience to Tears With Acceptance Speech Sonnet About His Wife and the Orlando Shooting

by Zach Seemayer 8:17 PM PDT, June 12, 2016
Playing Lin-Manuel Miranda Brings Tonys Audience to Tears With Acceptance Speech Sonnet About His Wife and the Orlando Shooting

Hamilton star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda used his platform at this year's Tony Awards to deliver a message of love and hope in one of the most impassioned and beautiful moments of the evening.

After winning the Tony for Best Original Score at Sunday’s awards show, the 36-year-old Broadway superstar delivered his acceptance speech in the form of a poem. "I’m not freestyling, I’m too old," Miranda told the audience as he took the stage. "I wrote you a sonnet instead."

In the emotional verse, Miranda praised his wife, Vanessa Nadal, sharing, "My wife’s the reason anything gets done. She nudges me towards promise by degrees. She is a perfect symphony of one.”

Miranda also went on to share his love for the couple's 19-month-old son, Sebastian, referring to him as Nadal's "most beautiful reprise."

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The Hamilton creator, who also took home the Tony for Best Book for his historical hip-hop epic, got tearful while opening up about the mass shooting at an LGBT night club in Orlando, Florida which left 50 people dead and at least 53 others injured early Sunday morning, reciting, "Senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised, not one day.

"We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger. We rise and fall and light from dying embers remembrance that hope and love last forever," he continued. "Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside."

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Miranda addressed his sonnet backstage in the media room after the ceremony, revealing that he "hadn't written anything going into today."

"I hadn't heard about the day's events until after our Tony rehearsal," Miranda explained. "I'd always had this time between rehearsal and tonight to think about what I'd say if I was lucky enough to be called up, and it sort of informed all of it."

Miranda added, "We live in this world where beautiful and horrible things exist at the same time and often on the same day.

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Frank Langella, who won the Tony for Leading Actor in a Play for his role in The Father, also used his acceptance speech to share passionate words of support for those affected by the shooting.

"There are so many names I wrote down today to thank, but I hope they will forgive me if I bring in a dose of true reality: what happened today in Orlando," Langella said onstage, as his voice shook with emotion.

"I found some words that I think will mean more to you than a litany of names," the veteran actor shared, before reading off a note card he pulled from his jacket pocket. "When something bad happens, we have three choices: We let it define us, we let it destroy us, or we let it strengthen us."

"Today in Orlando, we had a hideous dose of reality, and I urge you, Orlando, to be strong," he continued. "Because I'm standing in a room full of the most generous human beings on Earth, and we will be with you every step of the way. Thank you."

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After the show, Langella spoke to the press backstage, where he said that he "tore up the original speech" that he was going to deliver because, "I just felt I had to say something about it."

He also discussed his feelings upon hearing the news of the tragedy, describing his emotional reactions as those of "disgust, anger and tremendous pain." "I’m now a 78-year-old man, so I react to things far more profoundly than I did when I was [younger]," he added.

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Miranda spoke with ET on the red carpet before the ceremony, where he spoke about the tragedy, and explained that the horrific events made this year’s Tony Awards "more important than ever."

"If art is what fights tragedy, if art is what fights the void, if art is what helps us make sense of violence and random acts of cowardice and killing, then tonight's important, it's important for us to celebrate those things," he added.

Hamilton was nominated for an astounding 16 Tony Awards, setting the record for most noms for any musical in the awards show's history.

MORE: Tony Awards 2016: The Complete Winners List

Read the full text of Miranda's impressive acceptance speech sonnet below:

My wife’s the reason anything gets done/ She nudges me towards promise by degrees / She is a perfect symphony of one/ Our son is her most beautiful reprise.

We chase the melodies that seem to find us until they’re finished songs and start to play/ When senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised, not one day.

This show is proof that history remembers/ We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger/ We rise and fall and light from dying embers remembrance that hope and love last longer.

Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside/ I sing Vanessa’s symphony. Eliza tells her story. Now fill the world with music, love, and pride.

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