HAMILTON Makes Entertainment Weekly's Best of the Decade List
No 18th-century U.S. statesman had more sway on stage, more measure on music, or better brought the decade's zeitgeist to its zenith than Treasury treasure Alexander Hamilton, the immigrant hero about whom Lin-Manuel Miranda spun a Pulitzer-winning, genre-defying, generation-defining Broadway musical that demanded, among other things, a renewed spotlight be shone on the theater as a cornerstone of American culture.
Since Hamilton's February 2015 debut at The Public Theater and subsequent transfer to Broadway that summer, Miranda has had five years, three tours, half a dozen productions, hundreds of pre-show concerts, and a star-stacked mixtape to say just about everything he could about creating one of the biggest Broadway musicals of all time. And he's heard everything you can hear about it, too.
"The thing that always trips people up is the incongruity of a hip-hop musical from this historical tone, which I always find surprising," says Miranda, 39, whose previous Broadway successes included 2005's Tony-winning In the Heights, 2012's Bring It On the Musical, and the 2009 revival of West Side Story. "Because I live in musical-theater land, I know a disproportionate amount about Argentine politics because of Evita," he continues. "I know about a failed revolution in France because of f-in' Les Miz. I know what I know about the Constitution from 1776. To me it was not [out of place] to have a musical address historical subjects, and the musical forms I was applying to it were just musical forms I had been working hard to master. When I started reading [Ron Chernow's 2004 biography of Hamilton] I thought, 'Well, this will be my Jesus Christ Superstar. I'll do a cool concept album and hopefully someone will figure out how to stage it.' That's not how it ended up panning out, but all I was looking to was tradition. I've been consistently surprised by how groundbreaking it has been perceived as because I feel like I'm just one in a long tradition of people who have used musical theater on unconventional subjects."
Read the rest of the interview with Miranda here, via Entertainment Weekly.