The Book of Mormon musical swept the Tony’s tonight, winning 9 awards, including Best Musical and Best Score. Trey Parker’s acceptance speech for Best Musical was both memorable and clever:

Thank you. This has been really, really cool. I think we did this, because we all secretly wanted to have a big, happy Mormon family. And now we do. And for everyone up here [participants on-stage] and everyone in the circle of doom over there [participants not on-stage], to Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad, you guys are amazing.

I know that on behalf of this big, happy, Mormon family, we really want to thank the audiences, because you guys made this show what it is, and, uh, therefore you’re going to have to atone for it one day. It’s yours now, it’s your responsibility.

And I think the night would be a big disappointment if we didn’t thank our co-writer who passed away, Mr. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion. He couldn’t be here tonight, but you did it, Joseph! You got the Tony!

The Book of Mormon musical won the following 9 awards:

  1. Best Musical
  2. Best Book of a Musical
  3. Best Original Score
  4. Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
  5. Best Direction of a Musical
  6. Best Orchestrations
  7. Best Scenic Designs of a Musical
  8. Best Lighting Design of a Musical
  9. Best Sound Design of a Musical

Aside from the number “I Believe” from The Book of Mormon and “Anything Goes” from Cole Porter’s eponymous classic, the Tony Award show itself was pretty lame. Sadly, most broadway musicals, like most movies, just aren’t that memorable, even when they do make a lot of money and win a lot of awards. Like the network news and print-based news media, awards show productions are increasingly designed to appeal to the crowd they cover, and they have long-since dropped the pretense that they attempt to address a broad range of intellectual and creative interests, so that each year fewer and fewer people watch them.

That said, The Book of Mormon musical does stand among the most memorable broadway productions of the past few decades, and now it is also a certified broadway hit that will be with us for a long time to come. I was lucky enough to see it early, in the initial days that it opened in previews. Now that tickets are nearly impossible to get, I wish I’d have brought more people (especially my lovely bride). If you can get a ticket and can get to New York City, then you should go to see it.

And hats off to Broadway for finding the humorous pot of gold hidden within Mormonism that neither Salt Lake City nor Hollywood could ever find.