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Hamilton Farewell to Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr and Phillipa Soo: A Look Back and Forward

The original cast of “Hamilton” has broken up.

Tonight’s curtain call

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr. and Phillipa Soo played their final performances in “Hamilton” tonight. (Jonathan Groff has already left.)  Here’s a look at their past, present and future.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda as Usnavi

Lin-Manuel Miranda as Usnavi

In the Heights opened on March 9, 2008, winning for Miranda, then 28 years old, his first Tony Award, for best original score. (He was also nominated for Best Actor)

On his vacation that year:

The following year, in November, 2009, Miranda debuted the first song, which is now the opening song of Hamilton, at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word.

In this video from May, 2013, Miranda explains to me what’s happening with what was then call the Hamilton Mixtape

Here is Miranda standing next to the sign in front of the Public Theater advertising the shows in the Off-Broadway theater’s 2014-2015 season, including Hamilton.

Lin-Manuel Miranda in front of quick summary of Public Theater's 2014-2015 season, including his "Hamilton"

Lin-Manuel Miranda in front of quick summary of Public Theater’s 2014-2015 season, including his “Hamilton”

Hamilton opens Off-Broadway on February 17, 2015. My review

It opens on Broadway on August 6, 2015. My video review:

Miranda wins all sorts of prizes and awards, and gives memorable acceptance speeches, such as at the Grammys:

#Hamiltome Published Today

Hamilton wins Pulitzer Prize in Drama 2016

Hamiltonys – the show wins 11 Tonys, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score. Happening on the day of the Orlando massacre, Miranda’s acceptance speech is a sonnet to love.

“I’m leaving because I have other opportunities that are going to need my mental real estate,” Miranda announced in June shortly after the Tony Awards.

Miranda will star opposite Emily Blunt in Disney’s sequel to “Mary Poppins” directed by Rob Marshall. Rehearsals start later this year; shooting starts in early 2017.

 

sebastian2Miranda wrote songs for “Moana,” a Disney animated film, which will be set for a November release. It’s been Miranda’s dream to compose for a Disney cartoon. “I wanted to do that since Sebastian started trying to convince Ariel that she should stay under the sea when I was 9 years old,” he told the AP, referring to The Little Mermaid. “It’s not accident,” he added, that he named his son Sebastian — after a cartoon crab, in other words, albeit a Calypso-singing musical genius of a crustacean.

Also scheduled for November, a Hamilton Mixtape, in which other recording artists will sing songs from the show, songs inspired by the show and songs cut from the show.

A documentary about he making of Hamilton is scheduled for broadcast on PBS October 21

Lin-Manuel Miranda also hints that he might make guest appearances in the title role of his musical in the various productions of the show, which will soon be in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, and Washington, D.C.

Leslie Odom Jr.

LeslieOdomJrbyMandell

Leslie Odom Jr. made his Broadway debut in “Rent” at the age of 17 and, in the 16 years that followed, became a familiar face on television, appearing on some dozen series, most noticeably as Sam Strickland in Smash, but he has not abandoned the stage, performing in the world premiere of Jersey Boys at the La Jolla Playhouse, returning to Broadway in Alan Mencken’s Leap of Faith, and acting in a number of Off-Broadway shows.

Leslie Odom Jr as Aaron Burr on ramp above Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton.

Leslie Odom Jr as Aaron Burr on ramp above Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton.

Then he was cast as Aaron Burr (An Aaron Burr that’s not the villain — Leslie Odom Jr.) That Odom won the Tony Award for best actor in a musical only begins to describe the accolades and attention the performer has received in the role.

OdomalbumcoverNow Odom says he will focus on his career as a singer and recording artist. He signed a four-album deal with S-Curve Records/BMG, the first of which was released recently.  His first gigs after Hamilton are a “concert residency” at The McKittrick Hotel (home of “Sleep No More”) for three consecutive Thursday nights beginning July 14, 2016

” I’m very excited to go out and find something new and to pour energy into my music; to go around the country and around the world with this music and meet people and connect with people, which is what I love to do most.”

Phillipa Soo

Phillipa-Soo

PhilippaSooasNatashaPhillipa Soo had just graduated from The Juilliard School’s acting program in 2012 when she was cast as Natasha in the Ars Nova production of Dave Malloy’s “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,” based on Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace. The show and especially she received raves, and it moved a couple of times. (The show is now scheduled to open on Broadway in November, starring Josh Groban.)

Miranda and Hamilton director Tommy Kail saw her as Natasha, and pictured her immediately as Eliza, Hamilton’s wife.

Soo in Burn

Her touching performance as the woman whom Hamilton loved and cheated, and who outlived him by 50 years, earned her a Tony nomination as best actress in a musical.

AmelielogoSoo will assume  the lead role in Amélie, a new musical which aims for a Spring, 2017 Broadway opening after a run in L.A. starting in December. The musical is based on the 2001 French film starring Audrey Tautou, a charmingly bizarre romantic comedy. The stage adaptation is directed by Pam MacKinnon (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) with a book by Craig Lucas (An American In Paris) and score by Daniel Messe and Nathan Tysen (Tuck Everlasting), with choreography by Sam Pinkleton, the choreographer of Great Comet (and the current director of Runaways.)

Soo is also writing the foreword to “Eliza: The Story of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton,” a biography for children by Margaret McNamara about the woman who founded New York City’s first private orphanage, raised funds to build the Washington Monument and fought to promote her husband’s legacy. “I have lived and breathed Eliza’s story for the past two years,” Soo said.

These theater artists will move on, and so will Hamilton.

Click on the pictures below to learn more, or to purchase.

The official book about the making of Hamilton; includes the complete libretto.

The Grammy-winning album

The history book on which the musical is based

Hamilton: Vocal selections

2017 Hamilton wall calendar

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About New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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