"In the shadow of fraying worldwide alliances and pitched political and culture wars at home, the show as a whole offered hopefulness, nostalgia, self-deprecation and modest emotional catharsis - a three-hour vacation from what Nathan Lane called, in passing, the "political insanity" of the present moment".
The students honored teacher Melody Herzfeld, who was the recipient of the 2018 Excellence in Theatre Education Award.
Others mentioned their heritage and their respect for others during their airtime: Presenter John Leguizamo said, "I am a human, not an animal", referencing President Trump's racist rhetoric.
"The person in the White House now is the anthesis of the value system of this play and the anthesis of the value system of the theater", he said. "My hope is one day our stories won't be the exception, but the rule".
As is tradition, Sunday's ceremony gave each of the shows nominated for Best Musical (The Band's Visit, Mean Girls, Frozen and SpongeBob SquarePants) and Best Revival of a Musical (Carousel, My Fair Lady and Once on This Island) a chance to shine on the world's greatest stage: television. After 9/11 it was very, very hard for me. "And they're looking at me right now and I can't believe it".
"It asks 'What do we do when our lives are being threatened, when the powers that be don't deem our particular community worthy enough?'" he said.
"I'm going to say one thing, F- Trump", De Niro said while pumping his fists in the air.
The award speech for Best Musical at the end of the night even included some butchered Hebrew (it seems a producer was just trying to say "I love you" to his kids), and echoed the recurring themes of the evening of diversity and tolerance ("In the end we are far more alike than different.").