HAMILTON Musical GRAMMYs Performance and Why This Show is Important

The waitlist to see the HAMILTON musical may have just gotten longer. HAMILTON debuted in August 2015 and tickets are hard to come by. HAMILTON won the GRAMMY for the Best Musical Theater Album and by performing the opening number during the GRAMMYs, the rest of America will want to rush to the ticket booths.

What initially drew me to HAMILTON from the beginning was its creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, the award-winning composer, lyricist and actor who happens to be Puerto Rican (born and raised in New York City). Before HAMILTON, Miranda has been best known for writing and starring in the musical IN THE HEIGHTS which received countless awards. While on vacation in Mexico, Miranda began reading the biography ALEXANDER HAMILTON by Ron Chernow and he was inspired to create first, an album and then, a musical based on Hamilton’s life story.

Alexander Hamilton was a poor immigrant from the West Indies who built himself up from nothing to become the architect of modern finance and one of the nation’s most vital authors. However, his story was cut short by scandal and tragedy. He was killed in a duel by Vice President Aaron Burr, and his contributions to modern society have largely been forgotten by today’s general public.

Download Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) – Various Artists on iTunes.

In this next video, watch Miranda perform what would become part of the HAMILTON opening number for President Obama in 2009. After watching the cast perform this number on the GRAMMYs program, it’s surreal to hear the the White House audience’s laughter at the idea of Alexander Hamilton’s life embodies hip hop. I’m sure I would have done the same.

Even though I’ve not been lucky enough to experience HAMILTON, one of the reasons that I even wanted to share it with you is due to the diversity of the cast. Miranda stars in the musical as Alexander Hamilton – yes, a Latino Alexander Hamilton. But that’s not all. George Washington (Christopher Jackson), Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom, Jr.), Thomas Jefferson (Daveed Diggs – Marquis de Lafayette) and most other characters are bi-racial, Latino- or African-American. HAMILTON seems to be telling OUR American history by means of diverse music with a diverse cast. Imagine the impact not just on students learning American history but even adults who have not ever seen themselves in our own history.

HAMILTON Musical Documentary on PBS

PBS will be airing a feature film documentary providing intimate access to Lin-Manuel Miranda and his colleagues during the two years leading up to the Broadway opening of HAMILTON. This film, HAMILTON’S AMERICA, will come to GREAT PERFORMANCES in the fall 2016, and will be a highlight of PBS’s Arts programming. GREAT PERFORMANCES partnered with Miranda in 2009 to bring audiences IN THE HEIGHTS: CHASING BROADWAY DREAMS, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of IN THE HIGHTS.

“The film will offer audiences a fascinating point of view as we witness first-hand Lin’s inspiration and creative process, as well as the lasting impact of Alexander Hamilton on our society today,” David Horn, Executive Producer, GREAT PERFORMANCES.

HAMILTON - Phillipa Soo and Lin Manuel Miranda. Courtesy of Joan Marcus

HAMILTON Musical Tickets

As mentioned above, the tickets to the movie sell fast. You can visit Hamiltonbroadway.com to leave your email for updates on available tickets. For resell tickets, visit Ticketmaster, Ticketmaster Plus or Broadway.com.

For every show, there is a chance to win two tickets for $10 as part of the HAMILTON Official Lottery. Ten winners are announced on the day of the show. Visit the website for all the details.