Today we continue BroadwayWorld's extensive look at highlights from the sixty-plus years of the Tony Awards as we anticipate this year's ceremony on June 10 on CBS with the absolutely riveting final moment of last year's telecast, featuring peerless host Neil Patrick Harris performing a verbally dexterous and downright dizzying - and damn good - wrap-up/rap-up penned by Tony-winning IN THE HEIGHTS composer/lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda and that show's director, Tommy Kail. Lin-Manuel's new musical, BRING IT ON - a collaboration with Tony-winning NEXT TO NORMAL composer Tom Kitt - has just been announced for a Broadway opening this Summer!
Attempting the near-impossible and always almost effortlessly pulling it off with aplomb has become de rigueur for post-millennial Tony Awards host extraordinaire Neil Patrick Harris at this point. Last year's Tony Awards gave NPH many dazzling moments to show off his considerable song and dance skills - not to mention his flair for comedy - to an audience that may very well be mostly familiar with him from his iconic TV childhood role as the title character on DOOGIE HOWSER, M.D., and, now, his all-grown-up Barney on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, but his greatest moment of glory - yes, beyond even the fabulous Hugh Jackman duet and spectacular COMPANY group number - on last year's Tony show was his last minute or two onstage, Jay-Z-esque dropped-like-it-was-hot mic included. Wittily recapping and seamlessly packing in nearly every memorable moment from a BOOK OF MORMON-loving and NORMAL HEART-friendly ceremony, the closing rap-up of the 2011 Tony Awards makes a seriously strong case for the crop of new and innovative songwriters represented on contemporary Broadway and the theatre's ability to still be relevant and hip - and it doesn't have to pander to star-struck audiences or ape GLEE or SMASH to be so, either. Yes, indeed, NPH exhibits in just a mere minute that vivacious and plucky beating heart of Broadway still churning out some of the best tunesmiths of our age, as it always has, with a true triple-threat performer willing and oh-so-able to make it glitter and shine.
"Now go see a motherf*cking Broadway show!"
So, what is your personal favorite theatrical use of rap music to date? Did CHESS do it first and best with "One Night In Bangkok" in your opinion or has Lin-Manuel taken the crown as hip-hop king of the Great White Way, particularly given his recent Tony wins for the revolutionary rap-infused IN THE HEIGHTS? It's clear we will be seeing more modern sounds on Broadway in the coming season, too - especially since the Tom Kitt/Lin-Manuel Miranda BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL will be coming in, as officially confirmed yesterday - but this year's Tony Awards show could potentially provide a capper to top even this terrifically fun and fantastically fierce clip showing clear proof that Broadway is as able as Hollywood to appeal to the youth demo and look quite cool doing it.