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Isabella Biedenharn
June 11, 2017 at 11:25 PM EDT

A year after Hamilton swept the 2016 Tony Awards, creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda made his return to the stage.

Presenting the award for Best New Musical while wearing a rainbow LGBTQ+ ribbon, Miranda said, “I’m so proud to be a part of the grand tradition of the American Broadway musical…. During difficult times, musicals provide entertainment and escape, but they’ve also given us hope.”

Miranda was briefly interrupted by President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), his wife Claire (Robin Wright), and chief of staff Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), but eventually presented the award to Dear Evan Hansen. (See the full list of 2017 Tony winners here.)
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Dear Evan Hansen and Hamilton share an important connection: Alex Lacamoire did the orchestrations for both shows (and won back-to-back Tonys for his work in 2016 and now, 2017), and both shows began their runs off-Broadway at the Public Theater.

Last year’s Tony Awards took place just after the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, which led Miranda to read a moving sonnet he’d written as his acceptance speech. He closed with an impassioned and oft-repeated mantra: “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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