Hamilton, the most-talked-about American musical in years, will play the Fox Theatre during the 2017-18 Broadway in Atlanta season.
Hamilton, a musical biography about founding father Alexander Hamilton, is the brainchild of Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), who wrote the book, music and lyrics and plays Hamilton on Broadway. It’s unlikely Miranda, 36, will play the role in Atlanta.
He based his musical on Ron Chernow’s 800-page biography Alexander Hamilton, which won the 2004 George Washington Book Prize and was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award.
The musical features a multiracial cast telling a story rooted in hip-hop but also encompassing R&B, jazz, pop, Tin Pan Alley and the choral strains of contemporary Broadway.
It depicts Hamilton as an unlikely founding father determined to make his mark on a new nation as hungry and ambitious as he is. He progresses from bastard orphan to Washington’s right-hand man, from rebel to war hero, from loving husband caught in the country’s first sex scandal to the Treasury secretary who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy. George Washington, Eliza Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and Hamilton’s lifelong friend/foil Aaron Burr are all part of this universe.
Miranda read the Chernow biography in 2009 while on vacation and, inspired, wrote a rap about Hamilton for a White House Evening of Poetry, Music and the Spoken Word. By 2012, he was performing an extended set known as the Hamilton Mixtape, which The New York Times called “an obvious game-changer.”
Hamilton had its world premiere in January 2015 at off-Broadway’s Public Theater. It began previews on Broadway in July 2015 and opened Aug. 6, 2015, at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, where it has been selling out ever since. Expect it to be a major player in this year’s Tony awards (airing June 12 on CBS).
Among its many honors, the off-Broadway production won 10 Lucille Lortel awards, including outstanding musical; eight Drama Desk awards, including outstanding off-Broadway musical; and three Outer Critics Circle awards, including outstanding musical.
Critics, obviously, love it as much as audiences do.
“Hamilton is the most exciting and significant musical of the decade,” wrote The Wall Street Journal’s Terry Teachout. “Sensationally potent and theatrically vital, it is plugged straight into the wall socket of contemporary music. This show makes me feel hopeful for the future of musical theater.”
David Brooks, writing in The New York Times, said: “Hamilton is one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve had in the theater. Bold, rousing, sexy, tear-jerking and historically respectful — the sort of production that asks you to think afresh about your country and your life.”
Subscribers to Broadway in Atlanta’s 2016-17 season who re-up for 2017-18 will get the first crack at Hamilton tickets. Information about run dates and single tickets will come later.
If you can’t wait until then for your Miranda fix, Aurora Theatre and Theatrical Outfit have announced a co-production of his In the Heights next fall to open their 2016-17 seasons. It won five 2008 Tony awards including best musical.