Hamilton creator and star to leave cast

Lin-Manuel Miranda (above), creator of Hamilton, with one of 11 Tony Awards won by the musical on June 12.
Lin-Manuel Miranda (above), creator of Hamilton, with one of 11 Tony Awards won by the musical on June 12.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has confirmed that he will leave the cast of the Tony Award- winning play on July 9 and be succeeded by his long-time alternate, Javier Munoz.

Miranda said he would turn his attention to other projects, including finishing work on the score and songs for Moana, an animated Disney film; completing an album of Hamilton covers and Hamilton- inspired songs called Hamilton Mixtape; and preparing to begin rehearsals for a live-action sequel to Mary Poppins, which he will star in alongside Emily Blunt.

He said he expected to spend much of next year in London, where the movie will be filmed.

Before he leaves the cast, the current production of Hamilton would be filmed for preservation purposes, but he is not sure when or how the film might be available to the public. He also confirmed that a documentary about Hamilton would air on the Public Broadcasting Service later this year.

He said he expected to rejoin the cast at times, either in New York or elsewhere - the show has announced productions in Chicago and London and two North American tours - but is not sure when, where or for how long he would do that.

In a conversation with reporters at an Irish pub in Manhattan last week, he also said he had decided to allow the sonnet he wrote for the Tony Awards on Sunday to be printed on T-shirts, with the proceeds going to help those affected by the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

And he would spend some time this summer encouraging Hispanics to vote in the presidential election; adding he had already appeared in a video for the Hispanic Federation encouraging voter participation.

"I'm going to be trying to get out the Latino vote as hard as possible," he said. "I don't think I need a lot of help. I think it's very clear that Latinos living in the United States, their interests are bound up in voting this year and I'll leave it at that, but making sure people turn out is going to be a priority for me, as it was in 2012."

He said that in 2012, he made videos encouraging turnout and would do the same this year.

He defended the decision by Hamilton producers to raise the price for premium tickets on Broadway to US$849 (S$1,140), saying that the price was still lower than what many people were paying on the secondary market and that the increase would allow the show to more than double the number of tickets available for $10 by lottery.

He also said he hoped that the addition of new productions of Hamilton would make the show more accessible to more people.

Leslie Odom Jr, who won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Aaron Burr in Hamilton, said on Sunday he would also leave the cast of the show on July 9.

He is the fourth Tony-nominated member of the original cast to plan a departure. Jonathan Groff left on April 9 and Phillipa Soo is scheduled to leave after the evening performance on July 9.

The exodus, much of it less than a month after the show won the coveted Tony Award for Best New Musical, stems from two factors: The show began performances on Broadway last summer, so one-year contracts signed by cast members are about to expire and the show's prominence has led to other opportunities for some of its performers.

Odom recently released a solo jazz album. Groff left to record a new Netflix series, Mindhunter; and Soo will star in a new musical, Amelie.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2016, with the headline 'Hamilton creator and star to leave cast'. Print Edition | Subscribe