Parkland Students Bring the Tony Awards to Tears With Powerful Live Performance
By Zach Seemayer
Theo Wargo/Getty Images
A group of students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama department brought the audience at this year's Tony Awards to tears on Sunday.
The young performers delivered an impassioned rendition of the iconic tune "Seasons of Love" from the Tony-winning Broadway musical Rent, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house as the students sang their hearts out.
The impressive number was met with a resounding standing ovation from the star-studded crowd, who couldn't contain their effusive appreciation for the young singers.
The powerful appearance was introduced by Glee alum Matthew Morrison, who recently appeared with a number of Broadway stars at a benefit concert supporting the victims of the horrifying mass shooting at the Parkland, Florida, high school.
"It was a life-changing experience to see these young people channeling their intense feelings of hurt and rage and sorrow into art," Morrison said of the benefit concert.
Morrison explained that one of the students who performed with them, Tanzil Philip, reached out to the Tonys to see if he could appear on the telecast to share his heartfelt appreciation for all the Broadway community has done for the victims and survivors of the shooting.
"Rather than inviting you onto the stage to say thanks to us, our Broadway family wants to say thanks to you, by sharing the stage with you and your classmates," Morrison said, as the curtain rose on the students' touching performance.
The students' heroic musical theater teacher, Melody Herzfeld, got choked up as she watched the young singers on stage. Their appearance came just after Herzfeld herself was honored with the 2018 Excellence in Theatre Education Award.
The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which occurred on Feb. 14, claimed the lives of 17 people -- 14 students and three members of faculty and staff -- and left 17 others injured. Herzfeld is credited with protecting the lives of 65 of her students when she barricaded them into a classroom closet during the horrific shooting.