The first lines of Broadway-sensation Hamilton present the very question that the musical seeks to answer:
“How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a
Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten
Spot in the Caribbean by Providence, impoverished, in squalor
Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?”
Founding Father Alexander Hamilton – known as the creator and first secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department – may seem to be an unlikely hero for a hip-hop musical, where characters are just as likely to rap their lines as to speak them. But even the most skeptical of audience members and critics have been delighted by the combination as performed on the stage of the Richard Rodgers Theater.
The story of Hamilton follows the young title character, orphaned and impoverished at an early age, as he immigrates to the colonies in search of “his shot.” An incredibly resourceful and intelligent young man, he is quickly caught up in the waves of the American Revolution and becomes General George Washington’s right hand man.
At the center of Hamilton’s story is his friendship-turned-rivalry with Aaron Burr, the third vice president of the U.S. who would later become infamous for killing Hamilton in a duel.
Created by Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights) – who also leads on stage in the role of Hamilton himself – the musical took audiences by storm in its sold-out Off-Broadway run. Since first appearing on the Broadway stage in 2015, the production has become the hottest ticket on the Great White Way, earning a record-setting 16 Tony Award nominations in May.
Hamilton Cast and Crew Introduction
While the clever score and captivating storyline of the hit show have received critical acclaim, it is the Hamilton cast and crew that really takes the production to the next level. The show is manned by Broadway veterans, newcomers and everything in between, seven of which have been nominated for Tony Awards for their performances in the production.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is Alexander Hamilton. The “Founding Father without a father” is brought to life by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and lyricist of Hamilton. A Tony Award-winner, Miranda was well-known even before the wild success of Hamilton for creating and starring in the Broadway hit In the Heights. As an actor, he has additionally appeared in Merrily We Roll Along and Tick, Tick… Boom!, and has filled a number of television and film roles.
Leslie Odom Jr. is Aaron Burr. Hamilton’s rival Aaron Burr is portrayed by Leslie Odom Jr., an actor whose resume spans both the stage and screen. His extensive television credits include recurring roles in Law & Order: SVU, Person of Interest, Smash, Big Day, Vanished and CSI: Miami. On the stage, Odom Jr. made his Broadway debut in Rent at the age of 17, and followed the appearance with roles in Leap of Faith and the Off-Broadway production Venice, among others.
Christopher Jackson is George Washington. Actor Christopher Jackson’s portrayal of George Washington has been celebrated for its dignity and gravitas. A veteran performer, Jackson’s other Broadway appearances have included roles in The Lion King, Bronx Bombers, In the Heights, After Midnight, Memphis and Holler if Ya Hear Me.
Rory O’Malley is King George III. Filling the large shoes of original cast-member Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening, Hair) in the role of King George III is Rory O’Malley, the most recent addition to the Hamilton cast and crew. Audience members will likely recognize O’Malley as Elder McKinley from the hit Broadway musical Book of Mormon. He was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for the role and quickly became a fan favorite.
Phillipa Soo is Eliza Schuyler Hamilton. Tony-nominated actress Phillipa Soo plays Hamilton’s wife Eliza with a sweet grace that has charmed audience members and critics alike. A recent graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School, Soo landed the title role of Natasha in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 after completing her degree. Her powerful performance caught the attention of Miranda, who asked her to read for the role of Eliza. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Renee Elise Goldsberry is Angelica Schuyler Church. While her sister Eliza may have won Alexander Hamilton, the spirited Angelica Schuyler Church is front and center in the heart of critics. The role is played to perfection by Renee Elise Goldsberry, an accomplished veteran entertainer who originated the role of Nettie in The Color Purple’s Broadway debut. Her other credits on the Great White Way include roles a Nala in The Lion King, Kate in Good People and Mimi in Rent.
Daveed Diggs is Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson. Rapper Daveed Diggs had never been in a musical before being asked to join the Hamilton cast and crew. But this newcomer has blown away any doubts about his abilities in the roles of the fast-talking Frenchman Lafayette and the charismatic Founding Father Thomas Jefferson. An accomplished performer with a prolific rapping career, Diggs now has the additional honor of performing the fastest rap in Broadway history during every show.
Anthony Ramos is John Laurens/Philip Hamilton. Pulling double-duty as both Revolutionary War hero John Laurens and beloved son Philip Hamilton is actor Anthony Ramos. Ramos is relatively new to the theater scene, as he originally intended to pursue a career coaching baseball. He appeared in a few local performances before joining the Hamilton cast and crew Off-Broadway.
Okieriete Onaodowan is Hercules Mulligan/James Madison. Actor Okieriete Onaodowan shows his diverse acting skills as part of the Hamilton cast and crew in the roles of cocky spy Hercules Mulligan and pompous Founding Father James Madison. After an injury in college ended his football career, Onaodowan decided to pursue acting instead. He has since appeared in the national tour of American Idiot and the Broadway production of Rocky the Musical. He originated the roles of Mulligan and Madison during Hamilton’s Off-Broadway run.
Jasmine Cephas Jones is Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds. While Jasmine Cephas Jones is appropriately sassy as youngest Schuyler sister Peggy, it is as the seductress Maria Reynolds that her abilities really shine. She appeared in the 2014 Off-Broadway production The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner before joining the Hamilton cast and crew to originate the roles of Peggy and Maria.
After a sold-out run at The Public Theater, Hamilton opened on the Broadway on August 6, 2015, with previews beginning on July 13.
The Richard Rodgers Theater – which previously housed Miranda’s Broadway hit In the Heights – is the current home of Hamilton. Audience members lucky enough to score a ticket will take seats in the orchestra section, or one of two mezzanine levels.