Do you have the “Hamilton” blues because you can’t get a ticket?
Don’t worry, you’ll have time before the smash musical is turned into a movie.
“Right now, I’m just trying to get as many people in the room as possible,” says Lin-Manuel Miranda who created the Broadway hit, which is making its Southern California debut at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. “I’m being selfish about keeping it a piece of theater.
“I spent six years trying to make it into the best show I knew how, and I would like as many people as can to see it in that form before it goes to the big screen,” says the 37-year-old writer, composer and performer who also played the title role on Broadway until last summer.
Before “Hamilton” took the world by storm in 2015, Miranda was mostly known for starring in and composing the 2008 Broadway musical “In the Heights,” which won four Tonys. That is a pretty terrific accomplishment, particularly since Miranda wasn’t even 30 at the time.
But “Hamilton” has propelled him into a different stratosphere.
The show is not only a cultural juggernaut, with its message of diversity, but it also has become a political touchstone.
Miranda’s musical is based on an unlikely source – Ron Chernow’s acclaimed 800-page scholarly biography of Alexander Hamilton, one of the leading minds among the Founding Fathers.
“I just read it because I was a history buff, and then it changed my life,” Miranda says with a laugh, recognizing that he had hooked onto what he calls the story of the creation of the United States.
“For me, it was gripping. What inspired me about it was that in the first three chapters it out-Dickens Dickens,” he says, referring to the English author. “You shouldn’t be able to survive what Hamilton survived. I was like, ‘Holy cow, what perseverance.’?”
Born out of wedlock, the man whose face is on the $10 bill was orphaned as a child and raised in poverty in the Virgin Islands. After making his way to New York City as a teen, he joined the growing rebellion against the British and would serve as George Washington’s aide during the Revolutionary War.
Miranda’s own father traveled a similar route, moving from Puerto Rico to New York as a teen and later became successful as an adviser to Mayor Ed Koch and starting a political consulting company.
In Hamilton’s life, Miranda saw a chance to tell the story the immigrant’s dream of making it in America while examining…