By Nora Dominick ’17/Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor
On Thursday August 6, 2015, the Broadway musical community was taken by storm when Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2015 Drama Desk Award winning musical Hamilton opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in NYC.
Featuring a book, music, and lyrics by Miranda and directed by Thomas Kail, Hamilton is inspired by the book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow with a hip-hop modern musical twist. This intelligent and amazing new musical follows the young immigrant, Alexander Hamilton, who forever changed America. From bastard orphan to Washington’s right-hand man, and from rebel war hero to loving husband caught in America’s first renowned sex scandal, Treasury Head Hamilton has it all. Alexander Hamilton made an already distrusting new world believe in him and in the American economy. Who’s to say the audience won’t believe in him too, as familiar historical characters make appearance in this inspiring, imaginative and incredible new musical?
In honor of the opening night of Hamilton, Emertainment Monthly has decided to count down some of our favorite Lin-Manuel Miranda moments!
10. “What the Heck I Gotta Do”
This performance was part of “21: Chump Street” and starred Lin-Manuel Miranda, Lindsay Mendez and numerous others. The musical was part of This American Life’s “The Radio Drama Episode.” Check out the video below of this incredible musical number.
9. Writing the 2011 Tony Award Closing Number with Neil Patrick Harris
Ever wanted to know how the magic happens during the Tony Awards? In this epic video Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail and Neil Patrick Harris work on the incredible closing number. The rap was written in between Neil Patrick Harris hosting the award ceremony and featured highlights from the ceremony.
8. Cut John Adams Rap from Hamilton
During a post-show talkback for Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda treated students to a cut song from the show where Alexander Hamilton publishes his response to John Adams calling him the “Creole Bastard.”
7. Tick, Tick Boom! at New York City Center’s Encores!
As part of 2014 New York City Center’s Encores! Lin Manuel-Miranda, Karen Olivo and Leslie Odom Jr. performed in Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical musical Tick, Tick Boom! The musical tells the story of Jon who is starring down the his thirtieth birthday and is wondering about his career in the performing arts and finding success. Larson, of course, would find success with Rent. Larson began the piece as a solo performance in 1990 and then after his tragic death in 1996 it was expanded with the help of David Auburn (Proof).
6. #Ham4Ham Lottery Rap with Jonathan Groff
When Hamilton began previews on Broadway, so did the crazy, amazing pre-show performances during the “Ham4Ham” lottery. The lottery allows Broadway fans to line up before the performance and enter a ticket lottery where they can be chosen to receive front-row tickets for just $10. Check out Jonathan Groff and Lin-Manuel Miranda treating the lottery crowd to their rap skills.
5. 2015 Wesleyan University Commencement Address
Lin-Manuel Miranda graduated Wesleyan University in 2002 and since then has gone onto leave his incredible mark on the performing arts community. His time at Wesleyan was well spent. He co-founded the hip-hop group Freestyle Love Supreme and even performed the first draft of In the Heights in 1999. Miranda’s talent for public speaking shines through in this commencement address.
4. In the Heights Reunion at the #Ham4Ham Lottery
The “Ham4Ham” lottery continues to get better and better. With each and every lottery drawing, the pre-show performances get better and better. On August 1, 2015, Lin-Manuel Miranda treated the crowd to a In the Heights reunion. Tony Award winner Karen Olivo joined the gang to sing the song “96,000.”
3. In the Heights 2008 Tony Award Performance
In 2008, In the Heights took the Broadway community and the Tony Awards by storm. This Tony Awards performance starring Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast singing “96,000” continues to be beloved by Broadway fans across the globe.
2. 2008 Tony Awards Acceptance Speech for In the Heights
Lin-Manuel Miranda always has the greatest acceptance speeches. In 2008, In the Heights swept the Tony Awards and below Lin-Manuel Miranda gives one of his unforgettable rapping acceptance speeches.
1. White House Poetry Jam
One of the greatest performances by Lin-Manuel Miranda has to be his performance at the White House Poetry Jam. Six years ago, Lin-Manuel Miranda debuted the early rap that would eventually transform into Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda performed “The Hamilton Mixtape” at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word on May 12, 2009. In this performance he began to show the world his love for Alexander Hamilton and what would become Hamilton.