The Tonys' Ham4Ham Shows Are Filled With Broadway Stars, But They Won't Help You Land Cheap Tickets
I knew that James Corden was a Hamilton fan, but this is something special. Not only did the Tony host get introduced by the cast of the Broadway hit, but he implemented Tony Awards Ham4Ham Shows throughout the ceremony. The biggest night in theatre took inspiration from the Hamilton tradition and it made for a perfect transition.
In case you are unfamiliar with this particular aspect of Hamilton fandom, the Ham4Ham show (named after the lottery, which offers $10 ticket to the show for a select few) started in order to give the hordes of hopeful winners an experience, if not a ticket. Members of the cast and ultimately other Broadway performers from around New York's theatre district performed and goofed off for the delight of fans. When the lottery went digital, so did the "pre-show," though live Ham4Ham shows can still be found in front of the Richard Rodgers theatre before every Wednesday matinee.
Each miniature show took place outside the Beacon Theatre before and after commercial breaks. The first Ham4Tony (?) show featured Lin-Manuel Miranda and all of the composing nominees singing and playing "Tomorrow" from Annie. That included Sara Bareilles on piano and Steve Martin on the banjo. It also included Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber on tambourine, which is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
The next was Audra MacDonald and the cast of Shuffle Along singing "Sit Down, You're Rocking The Boat" from Guys and Dolls. Next, the School of Rock cast paid tribute to their composer with a bit of Phantom. Then, the Fiddler On The Roof sang all about the business that is show with a tune from Annie, Get Your Gun. Laura Benanti and the She Loves Me crew belted out Cabaret following their Tony performance.
Later in the show, the four male leads from Bright Star formed a barbershop quartet and jammed to "Heart" from Damn Yankees. Danielle Brooks from Orange is the New Black and the cast of The Color Purple lived out our Disney dreams with "The Circle of Life" from The Lion King. Singing and signing to the title song from Hair was the cast of Spring Awakening. Of course the cast of Hamilton had to show everybody up with a dedication to Rent composer Jonathan Larson and a brief performance of "No Day But Today."
All in all, it was a fun way for the Broadway performers to be silly and relax during a stressful night.