It’s finally happening. No, not the rapture or the second coming… The second national tour of the 2016 Tony-winning smash hit Broadway musical, “Hamilton.” It kicks off at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre for a six-week run, starting February 6th.
Who ever dreamed that history could be so dazzling? Actually, Tony-winning star/lyricist/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda did. And then he proved it by creating “Hamilton,” a musical that broke new ground. Although, the show opens with a great hip-hop number, it’s not strictly a hip-hop musical. Miranda’s score blends the sounds of hip-hop, jazz, blues, nursery lullabies, rap, R&B, and Broadway. If only every history lesson — and Broadway musical — were so glorious.
History now repeats itself with another musical about the Founding Fathers, 49 years ago, the musical “1776” opened on Broadway and went on to win the 1969 Tony Award for best musical and run several years. “Hamilton” plays at the same theater (now renamed the Richard Rodgers) and thanks to Miranda’s genius, seems bound for glory.
With book, music, and lyrics by Miranda, “Hamilton” is directed by Thomas Kail, with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and music supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire
“Hamilton” tells the story of Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), an immigrant from the West Indies. Born to an unwed mother, abandoned by his father and orphaned by his teens, in 1772, he arrived in what would become the United States and quickly became a rising star on George Washington’s military staff. Hamilton soon became a war hero and Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War by age 32. In his spare time, he founded the Coast Guard and the “New York Post,” devised and implemented a national banking system, imagined a U.S. Mint, eased America out of postwar bankruptcy and served as our first Secretary of the Treasury. Unfortunately, he feuded with the most powerful politicians of his time. And on the morning of July 11, 1804, at the foot of the bluffs in Weehawken, New Jersey, Hamilton was fatally wounded in a duel by his sworn enemy, Vice President Aaron Burr.
“Hamilton” is the story of America then, as told by America now. Miranda turned “a Founding Father’s largely forgotten narrative,” a critic wrote, “into one of the most joyful, kinetic, and extravagantly original musicals ever imagined for the stage.”
In 2008, while on vacation, Miranda read Ron Chernow’s best-selling, 827-page biography of Alexander Hamilton. Fifty pages in, he started thinking about turning Hamilton’s life into a musical.
Inspired by the book, he picked up his keyboard and opened his laptop. A few months later he’s rapping what would become the show’s opening number at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word, on May 12, 2009. Yes, the YouTube video went viral.
By 2012, Miranda was performing an extended set of pieces, based on the life of Hamilton, referred to as the “Hamilton Mixtape,” which the “New York Times” called “an obvious game changer” The next we hear of him it’s January 2015 and he’s opening a finished musical at the Public Theatre downtown with a cast as young and brash as Miranda—or Hamilton—himself.
Miranda spent six years in creating and refining “Hamilton.” He wrote the book, music and lyrics and starred in the musical, first playing Off-Broadway at The Public Theatre, and then in a triumphant move to Broadway. The show earned the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, and was nominated for a record-setting 16 Tony Awards, of which it won 11, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book. For his performance in the lead role of Alexander Hamilton, Miranda was nominated for another Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
The “Hamilton” cast recording spent ten weeks atop Billboard’s Top Rap Albums chart in 2015, while The Hamilton Mixtape, an album of covers of songs from the musical, developed by and featuring Miranda, reached number one on the Billboard 200 upon release in December 2016.
Among his numerous accolades, Miranda has won a Pulitzer Prize, three Tony Awards, three Grammys, an Emmy, and has been nominated in 2017 for an Academy Award for the “Moana song”-“How Far I’ll Go” in the Best Original Song category, He was additionally the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 2015. In 2016, Time magazine included him in its annual “Time 100” as one of the “Most Influential People in the World” and he received a star on the Puerto Rico Walk of Fame. On June 22, 2017, it was announced that Miranda would be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018.
Out of the 45 tunes in “Hamilton,” fans of the musical have picked their 10 favorites: “You’ll Be Back,” “Alexander Hamilton,” “Non-Stop,” “Guns & Ships,” “The Schuyler Sisters,” “Satisfied, “My Shot,” “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” and two that Miranda says are the best songs he has ever written, “The Room Where It Happens,” and “Wait For It.”
Joseph Morales and Nik Walker will lead the second national tour of “Hamilton” as Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, respectively.
Morales, currently performing in the Chicago Company, previously performed in the national tours of “If/Then, Bombay Dreams,” and as Usnavi in “In The Heights.” His television credits include “Colony” and “Chicago Med.”
Direct from the Broadway Company of “Hamilton,” Walker made his Broadway debut in “Motown the Musical.” He also appeared off Broadway in “Peter and the Starcatcher” and on television in “Law & Order: SVU.”
As everyone knows, tickets for “Hamilton” are notoriously pricey. Is it worth the money? The New York Times answers, “Yes, it’s that good.”
However, producer Jeffrey Seller recently announced a digital lottery in Seattle. Forty $10 tickets in the orchestra section are being made available for every performance. The digital lottery will open at 11:00 AM PT on Sunday, February 4th for tickets to the Tuesday, February 6th performance. One ticket only for a given performance, please; any more will disqualify you. Subsequent digital lotteries will begin two days prior to each performance. A lovely irony is that Alexander Hamilton’s face is on every $10 bill.
Miranda turned 37 on January 16th. His star shine brightly. If you’ve seen him on talk shows, you know he’s the real deal. A man of integrity as well as talent. After Hurricane Irma pommeled Puerto Rico, Miranda Lin-Manuel Miranda and 22 of his musically-talented friends released a new song to raise money for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. Titled “Almost Like Praying,” the song — which clocks in at more than three minutes — pays tribute to the island by name-checking several municipalities, all set to an infectiously joyful beat. Miranda has been an outspoken critic of the government response to Puerto Rico’s needs, and had strong words for President Donald Trump following his criticism of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.
Miranda, who organized the effort, kicks off the single by singing of Puerto Rico: “Say it loud and there’s music playing/say it soft and it’s almost like praying.” The lyric is a nod to “Maria” from “West Side Story.” In addition to Miranda, the song features the voices of Rita Moreno, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Luis Fonsi, Fat Joe, Gloria Estefan, Gina Rodriguez and more. (The song is available now on iTunes.).
Miranda also has a playful side. If you’re a fan of James Corden’s “Crosswalk Musicals,” you might have seen their rendition of “Hair,” in which Miranda and Corden stripped down to their birthday suits for the finale in the middle of the street during the red light. Of course, the images were blurred on the broadcast. You had to be there.
“Hamilton” runs Feb. 6-March 18 at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre; Tickets may be available through the newly announced Digital Ticket Lottery!FYI: To register for the lottery, certain rules that must be followed. Use the official app for“Hamilton, available for all iOS and Android devices in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store(http://hamiltonmusical.com/app).You can also visit http://hamiltonmusical.com/lottery to register.
Ta’rea Campbell as Angelica Schuyler
Marcus Choi as George Washington
Elijah Malcomb as John Laurens/Phillip Schuyler
Shoba Narayan as Eliza Hamilton
Fergie L. Philippe as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison
Kyle Scatliffe as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson
Danielle Sostre as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds
Jon Patrick Walker as King George
Lin-Manuel Miranda, music, lyrics and book
Thomas Kail, director
Andy Blankenbuehler, choreographer
Alex Lacamoire, music supervision and orchestrations
David Korins, scenic design
Paul Tazewell, costume design
Howell Binkley, lighting design
Nevin Steinberg, sound design
Charles G. LaPointe, hair and wig design
Casting by Telsey + Company, Bethany Knox, CSA
(The creative team previously collaborated on the 2008 Tony Award ® Winning Best Musical “In The Heights.”)
Tia Altinay, Amber Ardolino, Conroe Brooks, Cameron Burke, Eean S. Cochran, Phil Colgan, Desmond Sean Eillington, Hope Endrenyi, Lili Froehlich, Daniel Gaymon, Camden Gonzales, Jennie Harney, Stephen Hernandez, Kristen Hoagland, Abby Jaros, Emily Jenda, Wonza Johnson, King David Jones, Carina-Kay Louchiey, Brandt Martinez, Taeko Mccarroll, Tyler Mckenzie, Justice Moore, Antuan Magic Raimone, Julian Ramos, Jen Sese, Willie Smith Iii, And Julius Thomas Iii.
About Lin-Manuel Miranda
Born January 16, 1980, Lin-Manuel Miranda is an American composer, lyricist, playwright, and actor best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals “Hamilton” and “In the Heights.” Miranda’s awards include a Pulitzer Prize, three Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, and three Tony Awards.
Miranda wrote the music, lyrics, and starred in the musical “In the Heights,” which premiered on Broadway in 2008. For this work, he won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Original Score, the show’s cast album won the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, and the show won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Miranda was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in the show’s lead role. Miranda prepared Spanish translations used in the 2009 Broadway production of “West Side Story” and was co-composer and lyricist for “Bring It On the Musical,” which played on Broadway in 2012.
Miranda works for film and television as well. In 2007, he made a guest appearance on the television series “The Sopranos” in the episode “Remember When,” and in 2009, he played Alvie, Gregory House’s roommate in a psychiatric hospital, in the two-hour season six premiere episode of “House,” he returned to the role in May 2010. He also has done work for “Sesame Street,” playing occasional roles and singing the theme song to the recurring segment, “Murray Has a Little Lamb.”
He was a composer and actor on the 2009 revival of “The Electric Company” and appeared in the CollegeHumor sketch “Hardly Working: Rap Battle”, playing himself working as an intern and rapper. His television work also includes recurring roles on “The Electric Company” (2009–2010) and “Do No Harm” (2013). He hosted “Saturday Night Live” for the first time in 2016 and earned his first Emmy award nomination for acting. Among other film work, Miranda contributed music and vocals for a scene in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015). He co-wrote the songs for Disney‘s “Moana” soundtrack (2016) and is set to star in their upcoming film “Mary Poppins Returns.”
Miranda is of mostly Puerto Rican descent. His mother’s ancestors include an interracial couple, Sophie, who was black, and David Towns, who was white; from the early 1800s, this couple spent their married life trying to outrun slavery as laws and governments changed around them. Ensuing branches of the Towns family primarily married Mexican spouses in Texas and Mexico, and Miranda, for his part, has described his ancestry as a quarter Mexican. The name “Lin-Manuel” was inspired by a poem about the Vietnam War, “Nana roja para mi hijo Lin Manuel,” by the Puerto Rican writer José Manuel Torres Santiago.