Hillary Clinton gets standing ovation in surprise appearance at Tonys: 'Very special'

They're with her.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a surprise appearance at the Tony Awards on Sunday, where she received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the crowd.

"What a great evening!" the former Democratic presidential candidate said. "I have stood on a lot of stages, but this is very special."

Clinton served as a producer on "Suffs," a Tony-nominated musical centered on the women's suffrage movement and fight to pass the 19th Amendment. She was on stage to introduce a performance of "Keep Marching," one of the songs from the show.

Hillary Clinton speaks on stage during the Tony Awards on June 16, 2024 in New York City.
Hillary Clinton speaks on stage during the Tony Awards on June 16, 2024 in New York City.

In her introduction, Clinton alluded to her loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, quipping, "I know a little bit about how hard it is to make change."

She also said she is "extremely proud" of the show by Shaina Taub, which was nominated for six Tonys, including best musical. Nikki M. James was also nominated for her performance in the musical, which received additional nods for its book, score, direction and costume design.

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Clinton concluded her introduction with a message about the 2024 presidential election.

"Of course, ("Suffs") is about some American originals: the suffragists who fought so valiantly for so long to give women in our country the right to vote," Clinton said. "It's almost impossible to think about what a challenge that was, but now it's an election year, and we need to be reminded about how important it is to vote."

During Sunday's ceremony, "Suffs" won the Tony Awards for best book of a musical and best original score (music and/or lyrics) written for the theatre. "The Outsiders," produced by Angelina Jolie, was awarded best musical, while "Stereophonic" won best play.

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In an April interview with USA TODAY, Clinton said that although she is a longtime theater fan, "Suffs" was the first time she was approached about producing a play.

"I've never had this opportunity before," she said. "It's been exciting for me to not only support this wonderful show I believe in so much but to have a bird's-eye view of putting together a Broadway production."

Clinton also said the show's finale, "Keep Marching," underlines "how change is made bit by bit, with each successive generation making their mark," adding, "I found that very touching and poignant."

Contributing: Patrick Ryan

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tonys: Hillary Clinton gets standing ovation in surprise appearance