The date—which just so happens to be Alexander Hamilton's 262nd birthday—marks the first time in more than two years that Miranda will return to the title role. The Puerto Rico engagement kicks off the launch of another national tour for the Tony– and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, which plays three weeks of performances on the island before continuing on to the mainland.
“I'm feeling very calm today,” Miranda told CBS. But audiences are anything but calm. During the January 10 invited rehearsal, the crowd applauded for no less than 21 seconds at Miranda’s first entrance.
“That’s always sort of the moment, like a Pokémon, I try to harness all the energy in the crowd,” he said.
Puerto Rico has been anticipating this moment for a long time—and so has Miranda.
“I brought my first musical, In The Heights, here many years ago, and it was a labor love. That was the first Equity show that had ever come to the island. It was the most emotionally satisfying, artistically satisfying week of my life. I didn't realize how important it was to me that this island I love so much embrace my work,” he said. “I realized, as soon as we got a nice review in the New York Times, ‘Oh there's gonna be a tour of this show and oh I'm going to get to play this in Puerto Rico.’” And then Hurricane Maria hit.
“And then the conversation became: how do we help Puerto Rico?” Miranda said. The proceeds from the show will go to efforts rebuilding the island through the Hispanic Federation, as well as rebuilding the arts and cultural community through the Flamboyan Arts Fund.
Miranda also spoke about his son seeing the full show for the first time and unexpected number that made him emotional—and was surprised by a former teacher.