Entertainment

Lin-Manuel Miranda to leave Broadway's Hamilton on July 9

The creator and star confirms plans to film the original cast performing the show before his departure.

Star confirms plans to film the original cast performing the show before his departure

Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda, seen here at a 2016 Tony Awards press event, assures fans that plans are in place to film the original cast performing the show at the end of June. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

​The news that no die-hard Hamilton fan — or anyone who hasn't seen the Broadway smash yet — wants to hear has arrived: Lin-Manuel Miranda, its creator and star, is leaving the show this summer. But he promises to return "again and again."

Miranda, who has been in the show since it made its debut off-Broadway in early 2015, said Thursday he will perform his last show July 9. Javier Munoz, the current understudy for Alexander Hamilton, who also took over from Miranda in In the Heights, will take over July 11.

Hamilton tells the story of an orphaned immigrant from the Caribbean who ended up becoming the first U.S. treasury secretary. (Joan Marcus/The Public Theatre)

But Miranda said he will happily return to the show from time to time and RadicalMedia plans to film the original cast performing the show at the end of June and will, at some point, make it available. "We are aware that history has its eyes on us," said Miranda.

"For people who will say, 'But I'll never see Lin as Hamilton!' — yes, you will," Miranda said in an Irish pub in his Washington Heights neighbourhood. "I have written this insane part that I can't seem to get tired of, that is new every night... I think this is a role I will be going back to again and again."

THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT 

Miranda has already lined up plenty of work after he leaves. He has a lead role opposite Emily Blunt in a film sequel of Mary Poppins directed by Rob Marshall and with songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the composers of Hairspray.

Miranda will also help turn his musical In the Heights into a movie. He has written music for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the upcoming animated feature in Disney's Moana, a musical, animated tale about a Polynesian princess that comes out in November.

Munoz, who has been with the show since it debuted off-Broadway in 2015, said his taking over won't have too much effect on the show. "If anything, it's personal," he said. "We're losing our guy, right? Our friend, the guy we love, is not going to be in the building as often. It's like camp. You get to the end of summer and you become pen pals."

Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, and Lin-Manuel Miranda perform in Hamilton. (Joan Marcus/The Public Theater)

THEATRE FOR CHANGE

Miranda also revealed he has launched a merchandise site called Tee-Rico that will sell fan art inspired by Miranda's work. Currently, it is selling a T-shirt printed with part of his sonnet he delivered at the Tony Awards, dedicated to the dead in the Orlando nightclub shooting. All proceeds from it will benefit Equality Cares in Florida.

Hamilton, which cast visible minority actors as Founding Fathers, burst through the Broadway bubble like few shows. It has been praised by politicians and rap stars, influenced the debate over the nation's currency and become a cultural phenomenon.

The hit Broadway musical has renewed interest in Founding Father Alexander Hamilton and sparked objections to his being removed from the $10 bill in the U.S. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

"It's been the best tsunami in the world, but it's been a crazy thing to be in the middle of this," said Miranda, who has a young child. "I don't walk down the streets in Washington Heights the way I used to."

On Sunday, it won 11 Tony Awards, including best new musical, best book and best score. That capped a stunning year for Hamilton that includes Miranda winning the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama, a Grammy, the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History and a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant. Miranda lost the best-actor Tony to his co-star Leslie Odom Jr., who plays Aaron Burr to his Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton also won for best direction, orchestration, choreography and best featured actor and actress statuettes for Renee Elise Goldsberry and Daveed Diggs. Even if the show starts to shed stars — and Miranda said he didn't know about anyone else's plans — he said the musical can still be strong.

It takes a village to make a show like that.- Lin-Manuel Miranda, on the strength of the Hamilton cast

"I hope the 11 Tonys that we racked up on Sunday are somewhat of a validation to those folks that this is a great piece," Miranda said. "It takes a village to make a show like that."

GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD

Plans are already in the works to open a Chicago company of Hamilton, as well as one for London and a U.S. national tour that starts on the West Coast. Miranda said the talent level is huge at casting: "There are so many unbelievable actors of colour who don't get roles like this in the musical theatre canon."

Miranda, the New York City son of Puerto Rican parents, came across Alexander Hamilton biographer Ron Chernow's book and was inspired to write a musical. He debuted the first song at the White House.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, left, hugs First Lady Michelle Obama during an event with the cast of Hamilton at the White House on March 14, 2016. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

His book and score for Hamilton has sly references to Gilbert and Sullivan, Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Miranda already has a Tony for creating In the Heights and is part of a crew that freestyle raps.

While he steps away from playing Alexander Hamilton, Miranda said he will still push for legislation to stop ticket scalpers and also champion Puerto Rican fiscal strength. He would not be drawn into the 2016 election other than urging a get-out-the-vote push, particularly among Latinos.

"I've got this megaphone. I'm going to pick it up when it needs to be picked up," Miranda said, citing his support for Broadway Cares and the Mariposa DR Foundation, among others. "That's sort of the other part of my life now."

Although fans will be sad to see Lin-Manuel Miranda go, plans are in the works to launch a U.S. national tour of Hamilton that will start on the West Coast. (Larry Busacca/Getty Images )

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