Exclusive! Mary J. Blige and Ben Stiller Hit Hamilton
The new musical by Tony Award-winning In the Heights star and creator Miranda explores the life of American Founding Father Hamilton. Inspired by the book "Alexander Hamilton" by Ron Chernow, the musical incorporates historical figures such as George Washington, Aaron Burr, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.
Hamilton began performances July 13.
The new musical reunites the award-winning In the Heights team. Tony nominee Thomas Kail is at the helm, with choreography from Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler, and music direction and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire. Miranda, who wrote the show's book, music and lyrics, stars in the title role. In Hamilton, history meets hip-hop, and pop culture permeates the past, as revolutionaries spit rhymes, aristocrats throw down and politicians turn up. And, one of the most famous personal conflicts of the 18th century is musicalized: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr face off, in a duel that went down in the books, for the first time on stage.
"They're so bound up in each other's lives," said Miranda. "Burr is someone, who all his life, hung back waiting for the right moment; and Hamilton is someone who always charged forward recklessly. And, in the moment that matters most, Burr charged forward, and Hamilton hung back, and it led to tragedy for the both of them. It's really fun to explore that, but they're like-minded. They're twin souls at the top of the show."
The musical played an extended, sold-out world-premiere engagement at the Public Theater earlier this year, and the complete Off-Broadway cast has returned for Broadway. Several new company members have joined them.
In addition to Miranda, the company includes Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening) as King George, Phillipa Soo (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812) as Eliza Hamilton, Christopher Jackson (In the Heights) as George Washington, Leslie Odom Jr. ("Smash") as Aaron Burr, Renée Elise Goldsberry (The Color Purple) as Angelica Schuyler, Daveed Diggs (In the Red and Brown Water) as Marquis De Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, Anthony Ramos (Sideways Stories from Wayside School) as John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton, Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds, Javier Muñoz as Hamilton alternate and Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison.
Also featured are Carleigh Bettiol, Andrew Chappelle, Ariana Debose, Alysha Deslorieux, Sydney James Harcourt, Neil Haskell, Sasha Hutchings, Thayne Jasperson, Stephanie Klemons, Morgan Marcell, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Jon Rua, Austin Smith, Seth Stewart, Betsy Struxness, Ephraim Sykes and Voltaire Wade-Greene.
Miranda is the Tony and Grammy Award-winning composer-lyricist of In the Heights. The musical earned four 2008 Tony Awards, including Best Score and Best Musical. Miranda also earned a Best Actor Tony nomination for his performance as Usnavi. In the Heights was also recognized as a Finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Miranda is the co-composer (with Tom Kitt) and co-lyricist (with Amanda Green) of the Tony-nominated Bring it On: The Musical. In addition, Miranda translated some of Stephen Sondheim's original lyrics into Spanish for the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story and wrote additional songs for the Off-Broadway revival of Stephen Schwartz's Working.