After winning the 2002 Tony Award for Best Choreography, Rob Ashford told Gina Gershon, who presented the award to him, "I can't believe I beat Susan Stroman." Indeed, Stroman, who was nominated for Oklahoma!, and has won the Tony five times before, was a heavy favorite in the category.
The victory was particularly meaningful for Ashford since he worked for Stroman as a dancer in the past, hoffing in the early Stroman shows, Crazy for You and 110 in the Shade.
"It's very odd to be nominated against someone you danced for," said Ashford in the Tony press room. "someone who taught you how to dance."
– By Robert Simonson