“HAMILTON” SMASHES TONY AWARD RECORDS by Mark Kennedy,
AP Drama Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — The megahit musical “Hamilton” grabbed a record-breaking 16 Tony Award nominations, the biggest haul in Broadway history and another notch in the show’s march into theatrical history.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop-flavored biography about the first U.S. treasury secretary broke the 15-nominations record held by “The Producers” and “Billy Elliot.” ‘‘Hamilton” was nominated in virtually every category it could compete in, from acting to scenic design.
“Hamilton” earned seven acting nominations — Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo, Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Groff, Christopher Jackson and Renee Elise Goldsberry. It also earned nominations for scenic design, costumes, lighting design, direction, choreography, orchestrations, best book and best original score.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop-flavored biography about the first U.S. treasury secretary has won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, a Grammy, the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History and a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant.
“Hamilton” has burst through the Broadway bubble like few shows. Bloomingdale’s now sells “Hamilton” merchandise, U.S. presidential candidates have tweeted about it, it has entered the debate over the nation’s currency and the show has been referenced on “Saturday Night Live” and “Inside Amy Schumer.”
“Things like ‘Hamilton’ start to give youth a better understanding of just how powerful not just theater but performance art can be, and you can do it in different ways, and people will love it in different ways,” said Zachary Levi, former star of NBC’s “Chuck” who is starring in the revival of “She Loves Me.”
Thanks to shows like “Hamilton,” Broadway has concluded one of its most diverse seasons with non-white actors filling shows like “The Color Purple” revival, “On Your Feet!,” “Hughie,” “Allegiance,” the reworked “Shuffle Along” and “Eclipsed.”
NY’S HAMILTON COLLEGE CHEERS SUCCESS OF BROADWAY “HAMILTON”
CLINTON, N.Y. (AP) Hamilton the college is taking pride in all the accolades being bestowed on “Hamilton” the musical.
At Hamilton College, a small liberal arts school in central New York named after the first U.S. treasury secretary, the success of the musical has made it a popular subject at campus trivia night.
The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that college President Joan Hinde Stewart said “there’s a particular pride” on campus over the musical’s success. She said high school students applying to Hamilton mention the musical in their essays.
Miranda performed the show’s opening number when he visited the college for its 200th anniversary in 2011, four years before the musical’s Broadway debut.
“HAMILTON,” THE MUSICAL PLAYS A ROLE IN KEEPING HAMILTON ON $10 BILL
by Martin Crutsinger,
Ap Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Harriet Tubman, an African-American abolitionist who was born a slave, will stand with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin among the iconic faces of U.S. currency.
Lew had initially selected the $10 bill to feature a woman because under the original timetable it was the next bill to be redesigned. But that proposal met fierce objections from supporters of Hamilton who is enjoying renewed popular interest with the smash Broadway hit musical “Hamilton.”
The $20 bill will be redesigned with Tubman’s portrait on the front, marking two historic milestones, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced. Tubman will become the first African-American on U.S. paper money and the first woman to be depicted on currency in 100 years. The leader of theUnderground Railroad will replace the portrait of Andrew Jackson, the nation’s seventh president and a slave owner, who will be pushed to the back of the bill.
Lew also settled a backlash that had erupted after he had announced an initial plan to remove Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury secretary, from the $10 bill in order to honor a woman on the bill.
Hamilton will remain on the $10 note, Lew said. Instead, the Treasury building on the back of the bill will be changed to commemorate a 1913 march that ended on the steps of the Treasury building. It will also feature suffragette leaders Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul.
“HAMILTON” ON BROADWAY GENERATES 1M TWEETS IN 2015
by Mark Kennedy
EW YORK (AP) — Another milestone has fallen thanks to the Broadway musical “Hamilton” — this time on Twitter.
The microblogging website said there have been over one million tweets about the hip-hop show featuring the life of the nation’s first treasury secretary.
The sheer number of tweets was fueled by a young tech-savvy cast and audience and its cross-over popularity in hip-hop circles as well as fresh material in the form of impromptu video performances that occur periodically on the front steps of the Richard Rodgers Theatre, the Broadway home of “Hamilton.”
By comparison, there were 266,000 tweets about the current Tony-winning best new musical “Fun Home,” and Nielsen data found there were 323,000 tweets about the Tony Awards during this year’s telecast.
Written by “In the Heights” Tony-winning creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical tells the true story of Alexander Hamilton and is told by a young African-American and Latino cast.
It’s got a terrifically varied score, ranging from pop ballads to sexy R&B to rap battles, with lyrical nods to Gilbert and Sullivan, Jason Robert Brown, “South Pacific” and the Notorious B.I.G.
Twitter said the show reached a million tweets thanks to users using the groupings #HamiltonMusical, @HamiltonMusical, #Ham4Ham, #Hamiltunes and @Lin_Manuel.
“Hamilton” was a sold-out sensation earlier this year when it debuted at the Public Theater with people paying well over 10 times the $120 ticket price and a crush of fans seeking lottery tickets.
Celebrities like Tom Hanks, Dick Cheney and Madonna showed up. When it transferred to Broadway, it had a war chest of $31 million, and President Barack Obama came to see it.
The show, which regularly pulls in $1.5 million a week to sold-out audiences, has won awards from the Outer Critics Circle, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle and the Drama Desk. The show’s cast album became the highest debuting cast recording on the Billboard Top 200 in over 50 years.
Miranda’s followers have grown too, over the year, thanks to his accessibility, humor, wide-ranging interests and sense of fun. He had 50,000 followers last year. So far this year, he has 162,000.
“HAMILTON” CREATOR LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA JOINS THE MUSIC TEAM FOR DISNEY’S “MOANA”
How does a Tony-winning composer-lyricist follow up a hit musical like “Hamilton?”
In the case of Lin-Manuel Miranda, its joining the music team for the upcoming Disney animated film “Moana.”
Collaborating with Grammy-winning composer Mark Mancina (“Speed,” “Tarzan,” “The Lion King”) and Opetaia Foa’i (founder and lead singer of the world music award-winning band Te Vaka), Miranda will be helping bring to life the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania where a spirited teenager and born navigator named Moana sets sail in search of a fabled island. Initial descriptions of the film reveal plenty of opportunities for Miranda and the rest of the musical team to flex their creative muscles as Moana encounters enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and a legendary demigod named Maui.
Receiving the 2008 Tony Award for “Best Score” for his work on “In the Heights,” Miranda has gone on to co-compose (with Tom Kitt), and co-write the lyrics (with Amanda Green) for Broadway’s “Bring it On: The Musical,” which was nominated for the 2013 Tony for “Best Musical.”
“Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on November 23, 2016.
“HAMILTON” THE MUSICAL LANDS A PULITZER
by Mark Kennedy,
AP Drama Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — “Hamilton,” the hip-hop stage biography of Alexander Hamilton, has won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama, honoring creator Lin-Manuel Miranda for a dazzling musical that has captured popular consciousness like few Broadway shows.
The Columbia University’s prize board cited “Hamilton” as “a landmark American musical about the gifted and self-destructive Founding Father whose story becomes both contemporary and irresistible.” Other finalists were “Gloria” by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and “The Humans” by Ste-phen Karam.
“I feel really humbled and really overwhelmed,” Miranda told The Associated Press. “Columbia is Hamilton’s alma mater, so I think that gave me a home-court advantage. But it’s extraordinary to be recognized in this way.”
The drama award generated the most buzz. “Hamilton,” about the first U.S. Treasury Secretary, has become the ninth musical to win the drama award, joining such shows as “South Pacific,” “Sunday in the Park with George” and “Rent.” The last musical to nab the award was “Next to Normal” in 2010.
Miranda leaned on Ron Chernow’s biography of the Founding Father but told the tale in common language and verse, transforming Hamilton into “the $10 Founding Father without a father.”
Miranda, 36, who wrote the music and story, already has a Tony for creating the Broadway musical “In the Heights,” a show which was nominated for a Pulitzer in 2009 and this month won three Olivier Awards in London. He also has an Emmy for writing the opening number for the 2013 Tony Awards.
In the past year, Miranda whose family came from Puerto Rico to New York has won a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation as well as the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, which came with $100,000.
The drama award was widely expected to go to Miranda this year. The album for “Hamilton” won a Grammy Award and became the highest-debuting cast recording on the Billboard Top 200 in over 50 years. The show is a leading favorite in this summer’s Tony Awards. The libretto, published last week, immediately became a top seller on Amazon.com.
“I’m just trying to stay as present and in the moment as much as possible because I’m fully aware that this speeds by in the highlight reel. I’m living in the highlight reel section of my life,” Miranda said. “I want to slow the montage down.”
“Hamilton” was a sold-out sensation this year when it debuted off-Broadway at New York’s Public Theater and amassed a $60 million advance on Broadway. It has been cheered by politicians as diverse as Dick Cheney and President Barack Obama, and celebrities like British actress Helen Mirren, musician Questlove and many others.
The music is a mix of breezy pop, rap battles and slinky R&B. Lyrics are smart and playful, including Hamilton declaring: “In the face of ignorance and resistance/I wrote a financial system into existence.”
The Pulitzer drama award, which includes a $10,000 prize, is “for a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life,” according to the guidelines.
Previous playwrights honored include August Wilson, Edward Albee, Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams. Recent winners include Annie Baker’s “The Flick,” Ayad Akhtar’s “Disgraced” and Stephen Adly Guirgis’ “Between Riverside and Crazy.”