Philly’s Leslie Odom Jr. Beats Lin-Manuel Miranda at Tonys
Burr defeated Hamilton — again.
The Tonys were the Hamilton show last night, winning 11 awards at the annual celebration of Broadway theater. But Lin-Manuel Miranda, the play’s creator and star, did not take home the trophy for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.
That went to Leslie Odom Jr., the Philadelphia native who is also headlining and hosting Philadelphia’s 4th of July concert this summer. He plays Aaron Burr in Hamilton, while Miranda plays Alexander Hamilton.
“I will cherish this,” Odom said while accepting the award. He then turned to Miranda: “God bless you. You’ve given us a new vision of what’s possible.” For his part, Miranda was rather excited Odom won.
Odom was raised in East Oak Lane. He told the Inquirer three years ago his theater epiphany came at the old HMV in Center City (now a Gap). “I heard this great quote, that artists are always trying to get back to the moment where their heart was first opened up,” he said. “And that was the show that opened my heart up. I mean, I stood in the HMV music store on Walnut Street and listened to the whole [Rent] cast album standing up. And paid $20 for the double CD.” Man, music used to be much more expensive.
His first experiences in the theater were at the Freedom Theater on Broad Street. He told Newsworks: “I still consider myself a Freedom actor. It gave me my first dose of craft.“
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