Parkland drama teens bring down the house with stirring performance at Tony Awards

Melody Herzfeld, a drama teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, accepts a theater education prize during the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York, June 10, 2018. Herzfeld was on campus on Feb. 14 when a former student opened fire on students, staff and faculty at the school, killing 17 people. She and dozens of her students hid in her office during the rampage for two hours before being taken to safety by authorities. [Associated Press]
Melody Herzfeld, a drama teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, accepts a theater education prize during the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York, June 10, 2018. Herzfeld was on campus on Feb. 14 when a former student opened fire on students, staff and faculty at the school, killing 17 people. She and dozens of her students hid in her office during the rampage for two hours before being taken to safety by authorities. [Associated Press]
Published June 11 2018
Updated June 11 2018

Members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s drama team stole the show at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards Sunday night.

The performance brought the crowd— many of whom were wiping tears from their eyes— to its collective feet at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The surprise showing wasn’t part of that afternoon’s dress rehearsal.

Dressed in shades of black and burgundy, they sang "Seasons of Love" from "Rent." Members of the audience — as well as those on social media — gasped, cheered and wept. It was aired live on CBS.

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Some of the song’s lyrics? "How do you measure a year in the life? How about love?"

"If you want a good cry, just watch these #Parkland kids at the #TonyAwards. Their friends were murdered and their lives changed forever, yet they have the capacity to sing about LOVE. Love, not hate," one person posted on Twitter.

Right before the moving performance, MSD drama teacher Melody Herzfeld was honored for her life-saving efforts during the Parkland school shooting on Feb 14.

Herzfeld saved 65 lives when she barricaded students into a small classroom closet when a former student, Nikolas Cruz, went on a shooting rampage killing 17 people.

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"I began to tear up a little when the #Parkland teacher was honored at the #TonyAwards — and then the students from the MSD drama department came out and sang Seasons of Love, and now I’ve paused the DVR because I can’t stop crying," wrote Jennifer Pozner on Twitter.

One of the performance’s key moments? When one of the lead vocalists hit a surprise high note to the lyrics: "Shout love, give love, spread love. Measure, measure your life in love."

"If you listen carefully you can hear the sound of theater geeks everywhere cheering "YES GIRL YOU GET THAT HIGH NOTE!" Vulture posted on Twitter.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

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