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On Stage: The Man Behind 'Hamilton'

The hippest, hottest ticket on Broadway, in case you hadn't noticed, is the hip-hop musical Hamilton, based on a biography of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the book, the music, and the lyrics for this juggernaut, and in the process, broke the record for the most Tony Award nominations, held previously by The Producers and Billy Elliot, surpassing the 15 nominations for those shows with a total of 17 nominations, including one for Miranda for Best Actor in a Musical.

Hamilton also earned Miranda a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album, a Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur “Genius” grant, which is awarded annually to between 20 and 30 U.S. citizens who have shown “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”

In 2015, Miranda told The Hollywood Reporter, “In Hamilton, we're telling the stories of old, dead white men, but we're using actors of color, and that makes the story more immediate and more accessible to a contemporary audience. You don't distance the audience by putting an actor of color in a role that you would think of as default Caucasian. No, you excite people and you draw them in.”

Summer is on the way, and that means a bounty of musical theatre, comedies, and outdoor entertainment. Stay tuned to this space for more information in the coming weeks.

Sanda Moore Coleman received an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University in 1991. Since then, she has been the arts and community editor for The Martha's Vineyard Times, a teaching fellow at Harvard University, and an assistant editor at Image. In 2011, she received the Maureen Egan Writers Exchange prize for fiction from Poets & Writers magazine. She has spent more than 30 years performing, reviewing, and writing for theatre.