New York native Lin-Manuel Miranda had much to celebrate at the Tony Awards as he accepted the prizes for both Best Musical and most memorably, Best Score for his show In The Heights. Having written both the music and the lyrics of this play about the Latino neighborhood of Washington Heights where he was raised when he was just a sophomore at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, Lin-Manuel was living his dream just by attending the Tony Awards.
When called up to his accept his first award (and the one closest to his heart) for Best Score he gave his acceptance speech in an improvised rap thanking everyone from his girlfriend and padres to Stephen Sondhiem. It was definitely one of the most memorable Tony acceptance speeches given in years!
Lin enthusiastically started off his speech by acknowledging his hope that one day his career would bring him to the Tony awards by saying, "I used to dream about this moment, now I'm in it! Tell the conductor to hold the baton a minute." and then went on to thank his family and community, "Mom, Dad and Cita, I wrote a play. Thanks for being here today...And with that, I want to thank all my Latino people, this is for Abuelo Wisin in Puerto Rico. Thank you." In a touching tribute to his upbringing and his pride, Lin brandished a Puerto Rican flag when accepting his award for Best Score.
When asked if he has prepared a speech before hand he said, "No, I prefer to be realistic about my approach and I practice my graceful clap for when someone else gets an award." He didn't put much of that practice into use last night as In The Heights won 4 of the astounding 13 awards it had been nominated for including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestration.
Congratulations to Lin-Manuel Miranda and the entire cast of In The Heights! Check out his acceptance speech here:
Other big winners for the night included South Pacific and August: Osage County. Lin-Manuel wasn't the only Latino to take home a prestigious Tony Award either, Paulo Szot a former Soap Opera star from Brazil took home the prize for Best Actor in a Musical.
To learn more about In The Heights or to buy tickets, click here!