RISE UP BROADWAY FANS! We are just 2 days away till Broadway’s biggest night of the year, the 71st annual Tony Awards. We have more spectacular performances coming your way on OUR TOP 30 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN.
At # 2, we take you back in time to New York City in the year 1776-1800 to meet one of our most famous founding fathers in NYC being well known as the first ever Secretary of the Treasury. You love him or you hate him. This is of course Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Award winning smash hit Hamilton: An American Musical.
From last year’s 2016 telecast, Tony winners Lin-Manuel Miranda in the title role, Leslie Odom Jr. as “Aaron Burr”, Daveed Diggs as “Marquis de Lafayette”, and members of the cast perform the high energy number about the Battle of YORKTOWN (THE WORLD TURNS UPSIDE DOWN). For this particular performance, the cast did not use their prop guns to have their moment honoring the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting (that happened that very same day last year).
HAMILTON was first conceived by Lin Manuel Miranda while he was on vacation from his first big Broadway hit In The Heights. For something to read during his vacation, he picked up a book about Alexander Hamilton at the airport. He was so inspired and moved about this man, he thought the story of our founding father would fit really well with Hip-Hop music. Miranda initially wrote the musical as a mixtape concept album entitled THE HAMILTON MIXTAPE. In 2009 while writing the score, Miranda got a call from President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama to perform at the White House Poetry Jam. He originally was going to perform a song from IN THE HEIGHTS but decided to try his new material in front of an audience. In his opening speech, Miranda talked about the new Alexander Hamilton musical he was writing which the audience laughed. However, as soon as he opened his mouth to rap out the opening number of the show, the crowd fell in love. Following that performance, Miranda continued to work on the new show with numerous readings and a workshop at the Vassar Reading Festival in 2013 (which was mostly majority of the first act and only 3 songs from the second act).
Following a set of rewrites and a new name, HAMILTON officially had it’s world premiere run Off Broadway at The Public Theater in January 2015. The response during it’s opening week was insane, it was extended twice. With everyone wanting to see the show, the producers of the show and Miranda announced that the show would transfer to Broadway a few months later. It arrived on Broadway in July 2015 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre (where Miranda previously had his Broadway debut hit IN THE HEIGHTS performed). Before it opened on Broadway, the show had a multimillion-dollar advance in ticket sales, reportedly taking in $30 million before its official opening. Today, the show continues to sell out and play to packed houses 8 times a week.
The Broadway cast featured Lin Manuel Miranda (later Javier Mu?oz) as “Alexander Hamilton”, Leslie Odam Jr (later Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon) as “Aaron Burr”, Daveed Diggs (later Seth Stewart and Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart) as “Marquis De Lafayette” / “Thomas Jefferson”, Tony winner Ren?e Elise Goldsberry (later Mandy Gonzalez) as “Angelica Schuyler”, Tony nominee Phillipa Soo (later Lexi Lawson) as “Eliza Schuyler”, Jasmine Cephas Jones (later Alysha Deslorieux) as “Peggy Schuyler” / “Maria Reynolds”, Tony nominee Christopher Jackson (later Nicholas Christopher and Bryan Terrell Clark) as “George Washington”, Okieriete Onaodowan (later J. Quinton Johnson) as “Hercules Mulligan” / “James Madison”, Anthony Ramos (later Jordan Fisher and Anthony Lee Medina) as “John Laurens” / “Philip Hamilton”, and Tony nominee Jonathan Groff (later Tony nominees Andrew Rannells and Rory O’Malley along with SNL favorite Taran Killam and currently it’s original Off Broadway star Tony nominee Brian D’Arcy James) as “King George III”.
HAMILTON was nominated for the recording breaking 16 Tony Awards last year winning 11 including Best Musical as well as Best Score and Best Book of a Musical (for Lin Manuel Miranda). During his speech for Best Score, Miranda did not rap his speeches like he did for IN THE HEIGHTS but instead paid tribute to the victims of the Orlando Nightclub shooting with his now infamous sonnet featuring the quote “Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love; Cannot be killed or swept aside.” Along with the Tonys, HAMILTON won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It also went on to win a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre album for it’s acclaimed cast album which also made history as the first cast album ever to make it to # 1 on the Billboard Rap charts.
In addition to Broadway, HAMILTON (which is now being called THE NEW RENT OF THE 2010 ERA) continues to play outside of NYC including productions in Chicago and a US National Tour which kicked off earlier this year. Coming up, HAMILTON will receive 2nd US National Touring company next year, a West End production opening in London this Fall, and many more to come.
How awesome is this show?!
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