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HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION NOW ON SALE!
HAMILTON, A HISTORY
In July 2008, while Lin-Manuel was on vacation in Mexico, Lin-Manuel took on a little light reading in the form of Ron Chernow’s 800-page New York Times best-selling biography, Alexander Hamilton, chronicling the life of the first Treasury Secretary of the United States. Lin-Manuel was captivated by the story of Hamilton’s life and how the very human struggles of the American Revolution continue to manifest themselves in today's society. From here, an idea grew to tell the story of Hamilton through contemporary song stylings, but the shape of that project was still a long way from being fully-formed. At the time, it was conceived as a concept album to be known as "The Hamilton Mixtape."
In April, 2009, Lin-Manuel received a call from the White House. President Obama and the First Lady were planning to host an evening of live performances - involving poetry, music and the spoken word - all centered around “the American experience.” Lin-Manuel was invited to participate and he took the opporuntity to debut the first song he had written for the Mixtape. "Alexander Hamilton." sung from the perspective of Hamilton's one-time friend and eventual assassin, Aaron Burr, was a huge success. The entire audience, including the entire First Family gave the performance a standing ovation.
On January 11, 2012, the 255th Anniversary of Hamilton's birthday, Lin-Manuel opened the 14th season of Lincoln Center's acclaimed American Songbook Series with a concert featuring sneak preview of new songs from the work-in-progress The Hamilton Mixtape now envisiond as a hip-hop song cycle about the life and death of Alexander Hamilton. The 10 songs featured Lin-Manuel's signature fusion of Latin, hip-hop and classic Broadway styles. Lin-Manuel was joined onstage by Utkarsh Ambudkar, Gavin Creel, James Monroe Iglehart, Christopher Jackson, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Moeisha Mcgill, Jon Rua, Mandy Gonzales, and Chris "Shockwave" Sullivan. Alex Lacamoire was on keyboard and provided arrangements and music direction. In The Heights director Thomas Kail helmed the evening.
The Hamilton Mixtape was next presented as part of the New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s 2013 Powerhouse Theater Season. With Thomas Kail again directing, and Lin-Manuel providing music and lyrics as well as preforming the title role of Alexander Hamilton, the project moved from a song cycle album to a more fully-realized 2 act musical. Guests in attendance at the public performance were treated to the first act and selections from Act 2. Response from the presentation was extremely positive and anticipation for the project's next steps continued to build.
Following the work at NYS&F in the summer, Lin-Manuel joined forces with the Public Theater to further develop the piece. In 2014, it was announced that the musical would make its world premiere as part of the Public Theater's 2014-15 season. A series of workshops followed that year to refine and develop the show. The direction continued under Thomas Kail and a full cast and technical team was assembled to help determine the look and feel of the new stage musical. The piece that was formerly known as The Hamilton Mixtape, would now be called Hamilton. Lin-Manuel continued to play the title role, as he continued to work on the book and the score. Performances were scheduled to begin Jan. 20, 2015, for a limited run through Feb. 22, 2015.
Hamilton's run at the Public Theater was sold out well in advance of its first performance in 2015. It proved so popular that the run was extended three times through May 3, 2015. Each extension was also sold out. The musical met with rave reviews and passionate audience response. It was announced on February 24th, 2015 that Hamilton would move to Broadway for the upcoming 2015-2016 season. The production would move into the Richard Rodgers Theatre for an open-ended run with previews beginning on July 13, 2015 and an official opening on August 6, 2015.
The Public Theater run of Hamilton recevied a record breaking 10 Lucille Lortel Awards, in addition to 3 Outer Critic Circle Awards, and 8 Drama Desk Awards, along with being named Best New Musical by the New York Theater Critics Circle and reciving the OBIE Award as best new American theater work.
Hamilton transferred to Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre where previews began on July 13, 2015 and opened to rave reviews on August 6, 2015. Hamilton's Broadway run is ongoing with tickets now available through January 2017.
On February 15, 2016, Hamilton made history as the first Broadway show to perform on the Grammy Awards live via satelite from Broadway. Performing the opening number, "Alexander Hamilton" it was the first televised performance by the Original Broadway Cast. Hamilton went on to win a Grammy that evening for Best Musical Theater Album for its platinum-selling Braodway cast album.
On April 12, 2016, Grand Central Publishing released the first edition of HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION, a 288-page book by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter. The book chronicles the development of the stage musical from from Lin-Manuel's first performance of the opening song at the White House in 2009, to its opening night on Broadway six years later. The book features over 50 interviews with artists involved in the show, stunning photogrpahs by Frank Ockenfels and Joan Marcus, and more than 200 revealing footnotes by Lin-Manuel sprinkled throughout the musical's libretto. Hamilton: The Revolution reached #1 on the New York Times Hardcover Non-Fiction Bestsellers List on May 1, 2016.
In the spring of 2016, Lin-Manuel and Hamilton picked up a number of distinguished arts awards. Lin-Manuel won the Dramatists Guild's Frederick Loewe Award for Dramatic Composition, The Edward M. Kennedy Award for Drama Inspired by American History, The Drama League's Distinguished Performance Award and Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical Award and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. On May 3, 2016, Hamilton was nominated for a record-breaking 16 Tony Nominations, being represented in every elligible category and receiving multiple nominations in the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories.