Javier Muñoz Takes Over Title Role in Broadway's Hamilton

News   Javier Muñoz Takes Over Title Role in Broadway's Hamilton Tonight
The show's longtime alternate Hamilton makes the role his own.
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Javier Munoz Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

Javier Muñoz succeeds Lin-Manuel Miranda in the title role of the Tony-winning Broadway smash Hamilton full time beginning July 11.

Miranda played his final performance in the role July 9.

Also July 11, Lexi Lawson succeeds Phillipa Soo as Eliza Schuyler Hamilton.

Muñoz has been the Hamilton alternate dating back to the musical’s early development and debut at the Public Theater in January 2015 as well as throughout the Broadway engagement. He previously took over the role of Usnavi—again, replacing Miranda—in the Tony-winning Best Musical In the Heights.

In Depth: Meet Hamilton's Other Leading Man, Standing By for Lin-Manuel Miranda for More Than Ten Years

Miranda had earlier told Playbill.com, “I kind of am getting to have the opportunity that I didn’t have on this show, which is to see the show and see how it works. So, I’m really looking forward to having that. I didn’t see Hamilton until the President came. He came to our sixth preview, and he saw Javier Muñoz play the role. It was the Sunday before our first preview that [producer] Jeffrey [Seller] called and said, ‘The White House is coming, and this is when they’re coming,’ and I go, ‘I’m not on that day,’ and they go, ‘Yeah, I know, but this is when the President is coming.’ I had a brief moment of… I performed for the President in 2009, and Javi is amazing, and I want to see my show. When Javi does the show, you really see the show in all of its colors. I can’t over stress it—we created the role together. In the rehearsal room, as I was writing, he would tag in, I would tag in. We would do every scene with me in the role and him in the role, and that’s how we kicked the tires on Hamilton. It really took two people to make it work.”

Muñoz will perform the role of Alexander Hamilton seven performances a week. Michael Luwoye replaces Muñoz as the Alexander Hamilton alternate.

Muñoz added, “I probably wouldn’t be in this business still without Lin-Manuel Miranda. He created the opportunities for me as a Latino actor to have the career that I have. They didn’t exist without him and before him, and so I think we all can share—all of us who go all the way back—that gratitude, right? And, it’s a bonding glue to always lift him up and embrace each other and support each other in that process…

“I’ll give you a little story of how it impacts, as an artist, the growth that we’ve shared all through the 10 years-11 years [of working together]. When I finally said yes to the offer [of] coming to Broadway to be the alternate, Lin called me on my cell, and his son had just been born, and we were looking at two or three weeks before we were going to start. He [said], ‘Congratulations,’ [but] I’ll never forget these words. He said, ‘I’ll need boots on the ground Day One.’ He was basically telling me, ‘Javi, I need you to do what you do [staring on] Day One.’ So, Day One, all my music was learned, and I was ready to go the moment Lin said, ‘Tag, you’re it.’ He was out the third day because he was writing. He was creating Day 3 of rehearsal, and I was ready to go. And that demand—that knowledge of knowing we’re now embarking on a second endeavor—Heights, here’s Hamilton—your A-game goes to A-plus, and I think all of us brought that… You see what you’ve done together in the past, and you know that you want to just be even better… We grow together and excel together, and I thank God for that job. It’s made me better.”

(Updated July 11, 2016)

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