Whether or not you consider yourself a fan of the theater, there is one moment from last night’s 2011 Tony Award that everyone should see: Neil Patrick Harris rapping a wrap up of the awards. Watch below:
While fans of “Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog” know that Harris can sing, how exactly did the “How I Met Your Mother” star manage to perform a fully-formed rap complete with references to the evening’s winners, Frances McDormand’s acceptance speech and Brooke Shields’ flub? Did they wrestle the briefcase of tabulated results off the arm of some suit from an accountant’s office? Nope. The show’s producers tapped into the vast resources of the Great White Way and brought in some experts. Writer-star Lin-Manuel Miranda and director Tommy Kail, both of “In the Heights” fame, holed up in the basement of the Beacon Theater and wrote the rap really really quickly while the show played on. By 11 p.m., Harris had managed to memorize the rap (while simultaneously hosting the nationally-televised awards show), tapped into his inner flow, and performed the piece perfectly. While Harris claims to be a rap newbie, Eminem could scarcely have done a better job.
The full transcript follows via WSJ.com:
If anyone asks you what happened at the Tonys you can say this: We straightened things out in the opening number; Ellen Barkin and John Benjamin Hickey took home awards for their hilarious performances in The Normal Heart. Daniel Radcliffe kicked some butt and we were so elated Even Vodemort was sad he wasn’t nominated Norbert Leo Butz sang and danced and tried to catch you, comin’ atchu Chasing Trey and Casey cause they nabbed a Tony statue Commencing in the Chattanooga station from the grand imagination of the Kander-Ebb collaboration It takes a lot for a recipient to humble me But everybody cried for gorgeous Nikki James, the bumblebee Andrew Rannells sang “I Believe” and he landed it So well now he’s Mitt Romney’s VP candidate All across the country from the North and to the South Are saying “Brooke’s a hottie with a crazy potty mouth” John Larroquette brought an elegant mood to the room I’m still imagining him at home in his Fruit of the Looms Spider-man and Mary-Jane gave us perspective here They sang a ballad; we didn’t need our protective gear Patina Miller’s nuns sang “Raise Your Voice” with cheer And Memphis is relentless, they’re performing every year The Normal Heart won, Larry Kramer made us weep And War Horse dazzled us with a theatrical sweep Sutton Foster never lost her knack for talking smack and tapping a full-on assault attack, I’m awesome, Hugh Jackman take that Go ahead and roll the credits if you need to, I’m out of control, I’m on a roll, this is my Tonys speed through Anything Goes took the best revival prize in stride We didn’t see it, we were singing “Side by Side by Side” McDormand loves her job, Sutton Foster won again Paul Schaffer sang and suddenly it started raining men Mark Rylance runs at fences, he’s won the Tony twice That guy can do it all, his follow-up is Fanny Bryce Norbert Butz and Mormon swept the floor, won even more awards than War Horse Par for the course, someone get a car for the horse And in the final analysis what survives tonight? Theater, because it’s what we live We’re changing some lives tonight And theater thrives because we live to give it, so to speak This isn’t reality TV, this is eight shows a week Every chorus member that you saw tonight tappin’ Had to make miracles happen For a chance to see you clappin’ And applauding in the audience What’s next? Who knows Anything goes Now go see a mother [mumbled]-ing Broadway show