NEWS

Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of 'Hamilton,' says goodbye

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

NEW YORK (AP) — Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of the Broadway smash "Hamilton," made a subdued final bow Saturday alongside two other departing stars in the show that has become a cultural phenomenon.

The performance Saturday at the Richard Rodgers Theatre was also the last for Leslie Odom Jr., who won a Tony Award as Aaron Burr, and Phillipa Soo, a Tony nominee who portrayed Eliza Schuyler. The three — plus an ensemble member — took their bows together but none said anything. They left to the theme from the TV series "West Wing," an apparently presidential choice.

Afterward, Miranda appeared on the balcony outside the theater and also opened a window to say thank you to the crowds standing in the pouring rain outside.

The show, naturally, was interrupted numerous times by standing ovations, including ones for Miranda's opening song, Odom's "The Room Where It Happens" and Christopher Jackson's "One Last Time." Rory O'Malley, who plays King George III, broke character to blow a kiss to Odom during his last appearance.

Soo will next lead a musical stage version of the film "Amelie" that hopes to land on Broadway in 2017. Odom wants to focus on his music and has a four-CD deal with S-Curve Records. Miranda will next star opposite Emily Blunt in Disney's sequel to "Mary Poppins" and he wrote music for the upcoming "Moana," an animated film with a Polynesian princess at its heart.

Many long-running Broadway shows including "Jersey Boys," ''The Phantom of the Opera" and "Chicago" have gone through numerous cast changes without losing momentum and experts say "Hamilton" will manage the transition well because it's never been a star-driven show.

"Hamilton" has already survived the loss of original cast member Jonathan Groff and other key actors are staying, including Tony-winners Daveed Diggs, who plays both the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, and Renee Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, as well as Tony-nominee Jackson as George Washington.

"Hamilton," which won 11 Tony Awards last month, has been praised by politicians and rap stars, influenced the debate over the nation's currency and burst through the Broadway bubble like none other.

This year, it has won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, a Grammy, the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History and Miranda earned a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant.

A Chicago production of "Hamilton" will open this fall and a touring production begins a 21-week run in San Francisco in 2017 before moving to Los Angeles. A London production is slated for 2017.

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Mark Kennedy can be reached at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits