Our favorite Broadway composer/performer, Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02–who wrote his debut In the Heights during his sophomore year at Wesleyan–has created another hit. Hamilton, a musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, played almost entirely by actors of color and with a score composed not of “typical” show tunes but of rap, hip hop, and pop ballads, opened on Broadway in August. Next Friday, October 2nd, a special Wesleyan-only benefit performance will take place.Those of us who can’t make it to the show are in luck, though; the sung-through musical is fully represented on the cast recording, which comes out Friday, September 25th. If you’re not interested in paying $20 for an album, or if you’re not sold on musicals, or rap musicals, or American history, the entire album is available to stream for free on NPR until Friday. Check it out!
Last night in the CFA Hall, Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 spoke about the origin of his Tony-award-winning 2008 musical In the Heights and other creative endeavors. The talk, entitled “When You’re Home: A Look Back on the Origins of In the Heights” and sponsored by the Theater Department and CFA, spanned everything from a musical performed in the Westco Café, Seven Minutes in Heaven–a 20 minute show about thirteen year olds attending their first unchaperoned party–to writing for the Tony’s to Like Water for Chocolate-inspired creative advice.
In other news, he never stops killin’ it.
Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, rapper-slash-playwright-slash-romantic-slash-flash-mob-connoisseur…turned-actor, is debuting tonight in a recurring role on NBC’s Do No Harm, a modern take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. No word yet on whether Wishbone will be making a guest appearance in the show. The show will air on NBC at 10pm.
Miranda, whose returns to campus have been widely documented, is a guest star on the new NBC show after guest appearances on House and Modern Family. Miranda has been unusually inactive about his return to television on Twitter, but did drop this tidbit for “Twitterico:”
I am going to savor our last 30 Rock. Then I’m going to be on NBC an hour later, on Do No Harm. I’m feeling all the feelings tonight.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) January 31, 2013
I can only assume that he’s relying on his faithful following at his alma mater’s blog to promote the event. Don’t worry, LMM, I got yo back.
Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, whose rap on Alexander Hamilton received a standing ovation from POTUS and FLOTUS at the White House’s evening of Poetry, Music and the Spoken Word in May 2009 (video link), has been taking his act further. He performed recently to rave reviews at the Lincoln Center’s new season of the American Songbook series dedicated to “the celebration of popular American song.”
The show, directed by fellow Wes alum and In the Heights director Thomas Kail ’99 and performed on Hamilton’s 255th birthday, included “a primer on some of the Hip-Hop songs that left an indelible imprint on [Miranda’s] sound, soul and psyche” (starting off with Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind mashed up with Billy Joel and Sondheim, whoa) and 12 songs from work-in-progress “The Alexander Hamilton Mixtape,” according to an enthusiastic report from the Uptown Collective.
Check out Miranda’s interview with Forbes for more on how he became interested in Alexander Hamilton and this recent interview with The New York Times for news on what he’s currently working on (a musical adaptation of Chaim Potok’s 1972 Novel My Name is Asher Lev) and his dream project, “a musical about the 24-hour news channel NY1” that would feature Next to Normal star Aaron Tveit as newspaper-reading news anchor Pat Kiernan.