Backstage on Broadway: Preview of the 2016 Tony Awards

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It is Tony time and we all know Hamilton is up for a record 16 nominations. Along with the mega-hit rap musical, there are two Oscar winners, along with some Hollywood heavyweights contending for this year’s big awards.  In tonight’s Backstage on Broadway we take a look at what’s at stake at the  2016 Tony Awards.

Unlike the Oscars , the Tony Awards cross racial and cultural lines.
From the stars of “Hamilton”, to the drama “Eclipsed”, and the revival of “The Color Purple” ,

Brit funnyman, James Corden, is hosting this year's show.  He recently took his sing along sensation, “Carpool Karaoke”  to New York,  and a few of Broadway’s biggest stars out for a ride.

Many of the actors in “Hamilton”  are competing against each other like Lin Manuel Miranda  and  Leslie Odom Jr. who are both up for Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.

“The greatest thing about the Tonys is that we are all under one roof," Miranda said.

Three of the “Hamilton”  actors are nominated for featured actor. Oscar Winners Jessica Lange and Lupita Nyong'o are both up for Actress in a Leading Role for a Play. Lange shined in the revival of “A Long Day's Journey into the Night “ and Nyong'o made her Broadway debut in the compelling  drama , “Eclipsed”, that she first performed in college.

"I love this role, and just wanted to do it anywhere," she said.

Related: Full list of 2016 Tony Award nominees

Michelle Williams and Jeff Daniels, are both in the running for a Tony in leading roles, they star in the emotional drama “Blackbird.”

"We really wanted this, it was great to hear our names," Daniels said.

Frank Langella is up against Daniels,  for his  moving performance of a man falling victim to Alzheimer's in “The Father”.  Also in that category, Gabriel Byrne.

“So great to do this piece in the theater," Byrne said.

And, some Broadway favorites are back, Jessie Mueller for “Waitress”, Laura Benanti  for “She Loves Me”, and returning for a 6th nomination Danny Burstein for "Fiddler on The Roof. "
“The first time I jumped up and down, now I'm very happy," Burstein smiled.

The Tony Awards are this Sunday at the Beacon Theatre. We will be on the red carpet and have all the winners for you that evening. And be sure to follow our live updates --with the hashtag #PIXTonys