In a night full of raucous performances, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton took the stage at the Tony Awards this Sunday and brought the house down. Performing “Yorktown,” the cast of the hit musical, nominated in 13 different categories at this year’s Tonys, took the stage after being introduced by a clip featuring none other than the President of the United States Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. As the POTUS and FLOTUS put it, Hamilton is “not only a smash hit but a Civics lesson our kids can’t get enough of.”
As they mentioned in their intro, the Obamas have long been fans of the breakout hit musical. Miranda previewed the opening number for the show back in 2009 at the White House and returned to Washington with his cast to perform “Alexander Hamilton” and “My Shot” during the #Bam4Ham celebration of the arts in DC back in March.
In a show of respect to the victims of this weekend’s mass shooting at a famed Orlando gay club, the cast of the show based on Founding Father Alexander Hamilton nixed the use of muskets in their performance. Instead, they mimed their moves in a number which depicts the battle of Yorktown. The gesture was one in a string of nods to the violent event that struck Florida this weekend—the Tony Awards producers had earlier announced that they’d be dedicating the evening’s performance to the victims of the Orlando massacre, which occurred during Latin Night at Pulse, and many of the performers and nominees wore ribbons commemorating those lost.
The sobering number nevertheless garnered the biggest laughs of the performance during a line that cannot help but feel like a rebuke to that one presumptive presidential candidate who shall not be named: “Immigrants: we get the job done!” With several Tony wins already under its belt, the rousing number proved yet again why Miranda’s show is, in Obama’s words, “a musical about the miracle that is America.”