As some of you may remember, I spent a good portion of last summer on a walking truss at 37 Arts, running followspot for an up and coming Off-Broadway show. The patrons were always either amazed or terrified by our assent (in full fall arrest harness) to the truss on a "rope" ladder made of aircraft cable, but once we were up there, it was surprisingly comfortable to sit on the edge of the truss rail and lean against another pipe until the show started. It was a fun show to run, challenging to learn at first, and I never quite tired of it.
The show closed in mid July so that it could revamp and head to Broadway, where it opened earlier this year, and last night it won the Tony Award for Best Musical! The team also picked up Tonys for Choreography (Andy Blankenbuehler), Best Original Score (Lin-Manuel Miranda) and Best Orchestration (Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman). While I don't know Andy or Bill, Lin and Alex are two of the nicest guys ever, and totally deserving of the honors.
Though the show touches on some legitimate issues - what the gentrification is doing to the character of New York neighborhoods for example - it is largely big, fun musical theatre in the best way possible, couched in a love song to a single upper Manhattan neighborhood. The music and dance are heavily influenced by latin and hip-hop styles, and it makes for a very engaging show and eminently hummable score.
While I had nothing to do with the Tony success, this is the first time that a show on which I've previously worked has been nominated for major awards (13 Tony nominations) and I'm very happy for all of the people who are still with the show. They deserved every bit, and I'm proud to have been even such a small part of a show.