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!
Rather than halfheartedly trying to quote lyrics from “In the Heights” or some other thing written by this year’s commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, we’ll just skip ahead to: “Hey y’all, good morning!” It’s the 183rd Commencement at Wesleyan University, and we’re outdoors at Denison Terrace/Andrus Field/Foss Hill live-blogging all the speeches, processions, and every single name read (okay, none of the names) at today’s graduation ceremony.
Along with Miranda, Spellman College president Beverly Daniel Tatum ’75 and Goodspeed Musicals executive director Michael P. Price are receiving honorary degrees. Things should be getting started around 11 a.m.
Congratulations to the Class of 2015, and even more congratulations to all the many Wesleying editors and contributors who are graduating as well! You can watch a livestream of the ceremony here.
Update: You read all the speeches and watch Miranda’s address below. And here’s the official Wesleyan newsletter article on the event.
“Remember the theme song to ‘Skip It’? That was me.”
As election season kicks into overdrive, we will find ourselves and our ears more and more inundated by political advertisements—and the sound bites they are meant to embed in our brains. For celebrated (and decorated) Wesleyan alum Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, however, political advertisements have a different connotation: To a budding and struggling composer, they served as opportunities to marry music and message. The New York Times‘ Kate Taylor wrote about Miranda’s lesser-known venture in an article last Monday. Check it out here.
As Taylor relates, Miranda’s passion for music has manifested in diverse ways: a hip-hop album devoted to Alexander Hamilton, a repertoire on Sesame Street, and, oh, I don’t know, a quadruple-Tony-Award-winning musical, or something.
It seems like only a few months since playwright and In The Heights creator Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 was last on campus, tweeting his every move up and down College Row. Last night, Miranda made his way to the Rooks’ Eclectic show and had this to say:
This morning, Miranda continues live-tweeting his escapades on Foss (“Listening to a cocktail of MGMT, Das Racist & Professor Neon on Foss Hill”), at Athenian Diner (“won these in the claw machine at Athenian”), and in the Chapel, where he will speak at noon at the Wesleyan Assembly and Alumni Association Annual Meeting (and where he claims to be writing his speech right now). He urges you to attend: