Reblogged from: Wesconnect News. (Go to the original post…)
By A.N. Kini ’13
It’s not often that an artist is compared to Shakespeare, or perhaps, it’s not often that we buy it. Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, writer, actor, musical god and 2015 Commencement speaker, has been called Shakespearean “in ambition, and in achievement.” Hamilton, the revolutionary hip hop tale of the eponymous founding father, recently opened sales for its post-Tony Broadway run. With music, lyrics and book written by Lin-Manuel, and direction by Thomas Kail ’99, the musical will move from the Off Broadway Public Theater to Broadway in July.
Hamilton‘s decision to go to Broadway in the post-Tony season was a surprising move. The production could have rushed to Broadway by April 23, the deadline to qualify for the 2015 Tony Awards, to maximize on its momentum and “hot-ticket” buzz.
In a rarity for New York theater, the artists behind the red-hot musical “Hamilton” won out on Tuesday over commercial concerns about ticket sales and Tony Awards that usually carry the day.
After weeks of tense discussions, the artists — led by the Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda — persuaded their lead commercial producer to forgo the immediate lucrative benefits of rushing “Hamilton” to Broadway this spring and competing for Tonys in June. Instead the producer, Jeffrey Seller, made the somewhat surprising decision to gamble the show’s current momentum — as a critically acclaimed hit at Off Broadway’s Public Theater — on Mr. Miranda’s conviction that “Hamilton” needs more fine-tuning and will still become a long-lasting smash after starting on Broadway on July 13.
Asked if they believed their show could be shorter, Mr. Miranda and his director, Thomas Kail, said they were not counting the minutes but rather, as Mr. Kail put it, “trying to find the right number of events in the story and the most compelling way to tell the story.”
In “The Hamilton Experience” David Brooks of the New York Times called Hamilton “one of the most exhilarating experiences [he’s] had in a theater.”
Every once in a while a piece of art brilliantly captures the glory, costs and ordeals of public life. Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” did that. And so does Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton,” now playing at The Public Theater in New York.
In monitoring the @wesconnected Twitter account every day, on any given day, I see yet another famous person showing off their tickets or taking selfies with Lin-Manuel. I’d like to retweet them all. PageSix.com reported that the Clintons went to see Hamilton “amid all the talk about the 2016 race,” and notes that the Clintons went backstage with actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson. It also notes that other celebrities such Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks and Helen Mirren have also seen the show. In the most recent New York Times story on the musical, Jennifer Schuessler notes that “Timothy Geithner, the former Treasury secretary, has also seen it, as have the former Congressman Anthony D. Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, an adviser to Ms. Clinton.” And Dick Cheney and wife Lynne.
“They are part of the legacy of the highest office in the land,” he said. “They know they are going to be judged by history.”
…Still, on the evening of the Cheneys visit, Mr. Miranda…couldn’t resist a jab on Twitter. “Dick Cheney attended the show tonight,” he wrote, setting up a joke about Hamilton’s duel with Aaron Burr. “He’s the OTHER vice president who shot a friend while in office.”
This could be you, too. Wesleyan has bought out the entire house on October 2nd for a special evening. Sign up for the mailing list and hear about tickets first.
Lin-Manuel auctioned off Freestyle Love Supreme voicemails—and posted a video where he performs for Jimmy Fallon. He thanks singer Sara Bareilles for the cinematography and Phillipa Soo for beatboxing:
Jimmy Fallon reacted to this voicemail on his talk show:
The New Yorker recently published a full-length feature on Lin-Manuel’s Hamilton, exploring Lin-Manuel’s childhood, musical background and the conception of the project. “Wesleyan was very similar to Hunter, in that you can find resources for whatever cockamamie idea comes into your head,” he said to the New Yorker‘s Rebecca Mead, on his schooling. It all began with an invitation from the new President to participate an evening of live performances on “the American experience” in 2009, and a trip to Mexico with then-girlfriend and now-wife Vanessa Nadal, and the 800-page biography of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.
As the success of the revolutionary musical would indicate, Lin-Manuel’s story is just beginning.
Headshot image: from Broadway.com
Body image: by Joan Marcus
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