Six years ago, Lin-Manuel Miranda was invited to perform during an evening of song and poetry at the White House. The writer, composer and performer was fresh off of a Tony Award win for In the Heights, his debut hip-hop- and salsa-inflected coming-of-age musical about life in the working-class Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights. But instead of doing something from that show, he debuted a rap about Alexander Hamilton, inspired by Ron Chernow’s landmark biography.
It all moves so fast it’s hard for the audience to catch its breath. There’s a beat, a long quiet beat, at the end of the first act in which the audience gathers itself, then erupts in applause. Then they inch up the aisles to the lobby saying, “They should teach it like this in the schools.” On Alexander Hamilton / Lin-Manuel Miranda