He's a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and — oh wait. Wrong opener.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is a magician with words, a master composer, a brilliant performer, and a humble human to boot. He’s about to change your life, if he hasn’t already ("by all means, lead the way"). The lyric references will be non-stop from here.
As the Broadway star goes on and on, he continues to grow into more of a phenomenon. Watch this salubrious, adorable, occasionally foul-mouthed father be seated at the right hand of magazine interviewers and late-night talk show hosts alike. That's right, folks; it’s Miranda’s America and we’re just living in it.
Y'all are just in time for a quick recap of the year. From the success of his Grammy, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize-winning hip-hop musical to glossy magazine covers, various television appearances to future movie roles, the world is most certainly going to know his name. I've got the videos and linked sources to prove it, so be prepared to get blown away at the spectacle/ miracle that is Lin-Manuel Miranda.
What’d I Miss?
2015 saw the slow-but-steady ascent of Miranda's rise to the top. Really, the man is non-stop. Hamilton: An American Musical debuted in February 2015 (naturally Off-Broadway) to a sold-out show and kicked off its first Broadway performance in August just six months later. From there the original cast soundtrack was released in September, earning the No. 1 spot on the Rap album charts. Less than two months later, Miranda would find himself partaking in a fan-favorite freestyling segment on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert scooped him up for an interview as well.
Both Miranda and his musical have continued to gain fast momentum in 2016. Rather fitting for a musical biography about a Founding Father to become so popular during such a politically-charged election year. You ready for more yet?
March Madness At The White House
Speaking of political figures, the Obamas love him. Earlier this year in mid-March, the Hamilton creator visited the White House with a cast of characters beside him.
He had also been to the White House in 2009 with accompanist Alex Lacamoire for a political poetry jam session. Together they performed "The Hamilton Mixtape" which was greeted with random bouts of laughter. Whether they were teasing or awe-inspired is TBD. I'm sure he'd wipe away any tears with Hamilton tickets, if only one could attain them. At this point I think it would be a struggle, even for him.
Check out Miranda's passionate performance below:
Honestly though, President Obama might just be Miranda's biggest fan. Here's when he had Miranda freestyle in the Rose Garden. Prepare to have your jaw drop before they can drop the mic (metaphorically, that is).
POTUS: Alright, drop the beat.
April Offered Lots Of Showers
Hamilton: The Revolution has flown off the shelves since its mid-April release. The book, co-written by Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, follows the inspiring journey of Hamilton, from the early stages of brainstorming to its massive level of success. It’s absolutely stunning and perfectly encapsulates the visionary musical as well as the life-and-times of the man himself, Alexander Hamilton. It's also jam-packed with footnotes by Miranda that offer a glimpse into his beautiful mind.
The audiobook is read by the man himself. Might I suggest joining the revolution?
April showered Miranda more when he was featured in 2016’s 100 Most Influential People for TIME. His article was written by none other than J.J. Abrams.
Another talk show Miranda appeared on was HBO’s (now) Emmy-award winning Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. It was there that he rapped for relief regarding the debt crisis in Puerto Rico, from which his parents hail.
May Brought Even More Flowers
A few weeks later, Miranda gave a commencement speech at the University of Pennsylvania. You can watch the full address below.
This month was just as song-worthy as more folks began to sing Miranda's praises. James Corden would be one of them. His popular "Carpool Karaoke" sessions featured a Broadway version with Miranda in the passenger seat while Audra McDonald, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Jane Krakowski were the best backseat drivers you could only ever dream of having.
Pretty Fly For July
Chance the Rapper and Miranda shared the June/July cover (story) of Complex. Both are self-made men of color whose rapping abilities contribute greatly to conversations regarding societal issues, both current and historical.
"Our cover stars share that same sense of obligation, along with the faith that success is within reach if you’re prepared to put in the elbow grease."
With 17 nominations and 11 total wins, the 2016 Tonys was a vast achievement for all those involved with Hamilton. To anyone who had doubted the musical before, it cemented itself in Broadway history as a musical that won't soon be forgotten. The most moving speech of the night was perhaps when Miranda won "Best Score." He thanked his wife in his acceptance speech/sonnet and also honored the victims of the horrendous shooting that had occurred just earlier that day.
"When senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised, not one day, this show is proof that history remembers."
Another Obama mention: POTUS & FLOTUS gave a full-minute introductory video before the cast began their first performance that night. Like I said, No. 1 fans.
About a month later, Miranda released a song with Jennifer Lopez dedicated to the victims of the Orlando shooting. Again, this song was in response to the shooting that had occurred the same day as the Tony Awards where 49 people had been killed at Pulse, an LGBTQ+ club, during Latinx night.
Wake Me Up When September Ends
Want a some variety? You can check out Gordon Cox's article and read more about Miranda's upcoming projects. You know you want to.
What Comes Next?
October will be a big month for Miranda.
1. GQ Cover Story
2. Hamilton comes to Chicago
Well it starts Wednesday, September 28, but close enough.
Don't be shocked if the ticket prices make you pause. Few of us will be lucky enough to win tickets, so start saving up now if you’re hellbent to witness this cultural phenomenon for yourself.
3. Another appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Just announced: Miranda will be a guest for Fallon yet again! Desperately hoping for some more freestyling or singing of some kind. Regardless, Miranda will no doubt be as charming and loveable as ever. Curious to see what he'll share.
Date: Tuesday, October 4 -- Time: 11:35 PM ET (check local listings)
4. Miranda will host "Saturday Night Live"
My apologies for the late addition of this news, but I just found this out for myself. Miranda will be hosting SNL in October; how lucky we are to be alive right now!
Date: Saturday, October 8 -- Time: 11:30/10:30c
First-off, let me start with this: finally. It feels like ages since the documentary's announcement was made. Do not throw away your shot to catch a glimpse of Miranda’s musical if you have not been fortunate enough to get tickets. Or maybe you have and you'll still tune in. Either way, it deserves to break PBS rating records.
An extended trailer was just released earlier today. Please do enjoy.
Date: Friday, October 21 -- Time: 9 – 10:30pm
Got any plans that Friday night? Well, consider them cancelled.
One last time: Friday, October 21 at 9:00pm. Be in the room where it happens.
6. Countdown for Disney’s Moana
We can all start countin' down the days to experience Moana, Disney’s newest animated princess movie. Just seeing the words “featuring songs and music” with Miranda’s name at the top of the list is enough to make you tear up. Really though, how can you say no to this film? It's sure to be a classic (or one can hope). Coming to a theatre near you soon (ahem, November 23rd, come faster).
Wait For It
1. In the Heights musical-to-film adaption
Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes’s 2008 Tony Award-winning musical is gearing up to jump from Broadway to the big screen. While there is still no word on the casting, Hudes is set to adapt the screenplay (which would be based on the musical's book) and Jon M. Chu will be the director. Both the Weinstein Company and Scott Sanders Productions are onboard with the project.
2. Mary Poppins Returns in 2018
Though he’s been on some TV series, it's been the success of Hamilton that has garnered Miranda more attention from Hollywood. Mary Poppins Returns is set to have a 2018 release date (Christmas day) with Miranda as the lamplighter (Jack) alongside Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins) and Meryl Streep (Topsy). News of this sequel seemed to appear out of thin air but was met with much excitement.
3. The Little Mermaid live-action remake
Not much is known about this film either, except that Miranda will be co-producing and writing songs alongside Disney alumnus, Alan Menken. Will some of Menken's Oscar-winning advice rub off on Miranda? Do I smell an EGOT in the Hamilton creator's future? You'll just have to wait and see.
Of course, this only begins to scratch the surface. 2016 has shown itself to be quite an impressive year for Miranda and I cannot wait to see what else is in store for him. Thanks for reading (or skimming).
I have the honor to be Your Obedient Servant,
P.S. If you’re not already following Miranda on the Twitter-sphere, go give him some love. His good morning/good night tweets are short but oh-so-sweet.
What do you think was Miranda's biggest accomplishment this year?