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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Groundbreaking Hip-Hop Musical,Hamilton, Hits Broadway

One of the hallmarks of genius is an ability to spot connections between seemingly disparate things and then go on to create something that reveals the world in a new light. The young lyricist-composer-performer Lin-Manuel Miranda made such a connection about seven years ago, during a break from the Broadway run of his musical In the Heights, in which he was also starring. Miranda was, he says, “just chilling” in Mexico, reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, when suddenly: “I was like, This is an album—no, this is a show. How has no one done this? It was the fact that Hamilton wrote his way off the island where he grew up. That’s the hip-hop narrative. So I Googled ‘Alexander Hamilton hip-hop musical’ and totally expected to see that someone had already written it. But no. So I got to work.”

The result, as you may have heard, is Hamilton, a musical that uses the vernacular of hip-hop (not to mention R&B and Broadway) to turn the life of the “ten-dollar Founding Father” into the story of the immigrant experience and the birth of a new nation. With a stunning multiethnic cast under the masterly direction of Thomas Kail, it exploded onto the stage of the Public Theater in February for a three-month run, driving critics (including this one) mad with joy, drawing insanely starry crowds, sweeping the Obie, Lortel, and Drama Desk awards, and setting off a frenzy for tickets. Happily, Hamilton isn’t history—it’s coming to Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre this month, and it is, quite simply, miraculous. “Lin’s telling America’s origin story with people and music that look and sound like what America looks and sounds like today,” says Jonathan Groff, who gives a comic turn as a foppish King George III. “It’s a game-changing piece of theater.” - The cast of Hamilton in ‘Vogue” US Magazine July 2015

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“So we walked into this huge mansion and we went into the bathroom and as soon as I went into the bathroom I slipped, and just ate it. Just fell. And like not even just a stumble, I was fully on the ground.”

The night Taylor knew Cara was her real friend!

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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Groundbreaking Hip-Hop Musical, Hamilton, Hits Broadway:

When the curtain rises on that something this month, audiences will find themselves face-to-face with a past that feels as alive as the present, with Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom, Jr.), James Madison (Okieriete Onaodowan), Thomas Jefferson (Diggs), and George Washington (Jackson) strutting onto the stage—a rap crew in costume designer Paul Tazewell’s frock coats and breeches—and Burr asking:

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a
Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten
Spot in the Caribbean by Providence, impoverished, in squalor
Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

From Kail’s fluid staging to Andy Blankenbuehler’s sexy, propulsive choreography, the number crackles with the fierce urgency of now. David Korins’s bi-level set of shipbuilders’ wood and brick invokes an unfinished country, populated by an ensemble that looks on as the action unfolds, witnesses (as we are) to history. “Musicals are about transitions,” Kail says. “I knew that every scene change would be done by the people who were building America.”