Call it the “Hamilton” of legislation. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical might have stolen the show at last night’s Tony Awards, but a relatively obscure tax bill also got a glittery shout-out.
From the stage, Tony winners Nikki James and Christian Borle took a moment to thank Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for sponsoring legislation, which Congress passed late last year as part of a bigger package, that would give Broadway the same tax breaks that the film and TV industry enjoys. The pair noted the economic boon that theatergoers bring to New York and spots across the country where Broadway shows are performed.
“In an effort to preserve this priceless cultural treasure and the many jobs it creates from coast to coast, Senator Chuck Schumer introduced a bill in Congress called the Stage Act,” James said.
Borle chimed in: “Taking effect this year, the bill affords vital tax benefits to Broadway, similar to those offered to the film and television industries. Thank you, Senator Schumer.”
As the cameras panned to the tux-sporting senator, who was seated in the audience, he beamed and pointed to the silver ribbon on his lapel, which many attendees sported in honor of the victims of the mass shooting early Sunday in Orlando.
There were other political moments in the evening’s ceremony — a skit featured Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton impersonators, and there were jabs aplenty directed at the presumptive GOP nominee — but the tax-law call-out might have been the only policy reference.