In the Heights is, at heart, a classic old-timey Broadway musical (as I said here), and Passing Strange has a story in subject and expression closer to my sensibilities. But I was still bowled over by ItH's Best Musical win last night.
But the real fun in the Tony show came earlier, when show creator and star Lin Manuel Miranda accepted the award for Best Score, with what has to be one of the best speeches I've ever seen, if only because it was rapped.
Not only did he thank everyone he needed to, and name-checked lifetime award winner Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George, but he managed to do it under the alloted time. Here it is (no videos up yet):
I used to dream about this moment, now I'm in it!
Tell the conductor to hold the 'ton a minute
I'll start with Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman
Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller and Jill Furman
Quiara for keeping the pages turning
Tommy Kail for keeping the engine burnin'
For bein' so discernin' through every all nighter
Dr. Herbert for tellin' me "you're a writer"
I have to thank Andy Blank for every spank
Matter fact thank John Bizetti for every drink
Thank the cast and crew for having each other's backs
I don't know about God but I believe in Chris Jackson
I don't know what else I got, I'm off the dome
I know I wrote a little show about home
Mr. Sondheim, look, I made a hat
Where there never was a hat!
It's a Latin hat at that!
Mom, Dad and Cita, I wrote a play,
Y'all came to every play
Thanks for being here today
Vanessa who still makes me breathless
Thanks for lovin' me when I was broke and makin' breakfast
And with that, I want to thank all my Latino people
This is for Abuela Risa in Puerto Rico
While it was not the sweet brown sweep one would have hoped, the two shows did well overall. In the Heights won Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography, and Best Orchestrations (4 out of 13), and Passing Strange won Best Book (not too shabby -- most of its seven nominations were against tough competition, primarily from ItH).
Now let's see if this opens the Great White door for more quirky shows that are not revivals, and feature brown people not playing lions in a cartoon adaptation.
UPDATE: Guanabee uploaded the video. Here it is.
[Lin Manuel photo via Broadway.com; Stew pix via Tony Awards site]