He Created One Of The Most Talked About Musicals In Recent Memory And He’s Just Getting Started
Everybody knows who Lin-Manuel Miranda is at this point. Miranda is a straight-up Broadway musical nerd genius that has modernized both the stage and, well, American history in a revolutionary way: with rap. His play is one of the most talked about plays in recent memory and it is
Miranda is the brains and talent behind Hamilton, and learning where he comes from and what he’s up to these days will make you love him even more.
He was named from the title of a poem.
He was born to be a writer. His parents were avid fans of Puerto Rican poet José Manuel Torres Santiago and his poem about the Vietnam War, Nana Roja Para Mi Hijo Lin Manuel.
He grew up in Manhattan but spent his summers in Puerto Rico.
His father, Luis Miranda, was a community activist and political consultant and his mother, Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda was a psychologist. Like every good Puerto Rican parent, they would send him to spend time with his abuela y primos on the island every summer.
As a kid, he’d help his dad write jingles for political campaigns, including Eliot Spitzer’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign.
Even when Miranda was in Hunter College’s elementary school, he was acting in student productions. He eventually went on to major in theater studies at Wesleyan University, where he co-founded a hip-hop comedy troupe called “Freestyle Love Supreme,” which is going strong to this day.
His wedding video went viral before Miranda did.
Of course, Miranda organized the bridal party to surprise his wife Vanessa Nadal “To Life” from “Fiddler on the Roof.” The video garnered over 6 million views, and he married the love of his life, who he happened to have a mad crush on in high school.
Pre-Hamilton and post-Tony award, he guest starred in a few TV shows, including Modern Family.
In Season 2, Episode 22, Miranda plays a terrible dog trainer for Jay and Gloria’s beloved dog, Stella. He’s also played a recurring role in NBC’s Do No Harm, appeared in How I Met Your Mother and more.
The story goes that Miranda was inspired to write Hamilton after reading Ron Chernow’s 800-page biography of the late president.
Miranda was on vacation in Mexico in 2008 when he decided to do a little ‘light reading’, according to his website. He became so enamored with the revolutionary and interested in the parallels between America’s first year in existence and America today that he just went to work.
It took him six years to write the play, a true masterpiece.
He spent one whole year just writing the song “My Shot”, want to make sure it perfectly captured the historical figure’s intellect. He even enlisted the help of Ron Chernow to fact-check all his lyrics.
He was awarded the Kennedy Center Honor for his work on Hamilton.
The Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said in a statement that, “the creators of Hamilton have literally and figuratively changed the face of American culture with daringly original, breathtakingly relevant work.”
His last performance tickets sold for $10k per seat.
He vowed that he would return to the stage again after his last July 9, 2016 performance. Since then, a documentary about the creation of his show has been released, Hamilton’s America. That’s right. A whole documentary and book are dedicated to the process of creating Hamilton.
Today, he’s one Oscar win away from becoming a rare PEGOT.
Sounds like I said peacock, but a PEGOT is someone who has won a Pulitzer, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award. He’s won one Pulitzer, three Tonys, three Grammys, an Emmy, two Olivier Awards and the recipient of a “Genius Grant” from the MacArthur Fellows Program.
On November 30, 2018, he got his very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
People are now naming their babies “Hamilton.”
There was a 60 percent increase in the last year alone for babies being named Hamilton, according to BabyCenter.com. Oh, and que cute that he pens Spanglish ‘cheer up’ letters to niñas that cry to their tías about how much they want to see the performance.
Miranda just released a book of pep poems.
It all started when he started posting g’morning and g’night tweets for his fans (literally before Hamilton was even out). Here’s an excerpt:
“Good night now, and rest.
Today was a test.
You passed it, you’re past it.
Now breathe till unstressed.”
The book is already a New York Times Bestseller!
Behind the scenes, Miranda was busy co-writing the songs to Disney’s Moana soundtrack.
For a single song, “How Far I’ll Go”, Miranda earned a Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice, Oscar an Grammy Award nomination. He’s also contributed to Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) songwriting.
Miranda also helped composed Bring It On: The Musical.
It was nominated for a Tony Best Musical just four years before Miranda’s own musical would break all Tony records by being nominated for 16 Tony Awards, 11 of which it won, including Best Musical.
He’s starring in Disney’s sequel to Julie Andrews’ Mary Poppins.
Mary Poppins Returns will be his first major role since leaving the Broadway cast. In it, he plays Jack, a former mentee of Bert, the chimney sweeper originally played by Dick Van Dyke.
You can find him on the big screen on December 19, 2018!
Miranda named his son, Sebastian, after the singing crab in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
Oh, and he’s co-writing the entire live-action reboot of Disney’s classic tale and even co-producing the film with Marc Platt. That’s all we know for now.
Miranda and Obama bromanced hard back in the day.
Miranda performed a slice of Hamilton at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music and the Spoken Word and was immediately invited back. This time, to do a freestyling battle with POTUS in the Rose Garden. What the…..
Aunque, Miranda continues to condem Trump for his presidency.
In an interview with PBS, Miranda said that he is “very good with words, but these were the only words I had left.” In the days of eerie silence from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit, Miranda was worried about his family.
He’s begrudgingly stepped into the activist seat for Puerto Rico.
In the same interview with PBS, he started by saying, “I am so uncomfortable to be here right now. I would so much rather be writing a new musical.” But someone has to do something for Puerto Rico and Miranda has a platform that his father must be so proud he’s earned.
Miranda wrote and organized 22 Latinx artists to create the song “Almost Like Praying”, which raised $22 million for PR.
Names like Marc Anthony, Camila Cabello, Jennifer Lopez, Luis Fonsi, Gloria Estefan, and so, so many more joined in on this track, which was inspired by West Side Story. The song “Maria” includes a line, “say it [Maria] soft, and it’s almost like praying.” This takes on a whole new meaning when we think about how Hurricane Maria has obliterated the island.
Once again, Miranda’s genius goes to good work for the Hispanic Federation’s UNIDOS Disaster Relief and Recovery Program.
Oh, and he convinced the U.S. Treasury to cancel its plans to replace Hamilton on the $10 bill.
Never forget that time that the cast of Hamilton addressed Mike Pence in the audience directly, telling him:
“We, sir — we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights. We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”