5 Things That Will Change When Lin-Manuel Miranda, Original Cast Members Depart Hamilton
They’re leaving the room where it happens.
He’s not the only one going. Tony winner Leslie Odom, Jr. and Tony nominee Phillipa Soo will also exit the production. The actors – who play vice president Aaron Burr and Hamilton’s wife Eliza Schuyler, respectively – have both been with the production since its premiere at New York’s Public Theatre in the winter of 2015.
So what’s going to change now that the O.G.’s of Hamilton won’t be around? Here are five shifts to expect:
1. Alexander Hamilton Will Be Seen in a Whole New Light
Replacing Miranda in the title role will be his longtime alternate Javier Muñoz, who has been playing the role on Broadway once a week. (Muñoz did the same for Miranda during In the Heights – and replaced Miranda in that role, too).
Muñoz’s take on the titular character is different from Miranda’s. The 40-year-old is not as naturally tied to the role, and because of it, appears to be be making broader, bolder acting choices throughout. During his time alternating for Miranda, Muñoz was praised for the intensity he brought to the part. The New York Times even dubbed the suave star “The Sexy Hamilton” for the way he uses his masculinity and sexual charm as methods of persuasion in scenes.
With live theater, any time a new actor steps into a role previously established by someone else, he or she is sure to bring something new. (Brandon Victor Dixon and Lexi Lawson, who are taking over for Odom, Jr. and Soo, will likely bring new things to their parts as well). But nowhere will it feel like a greater shift for the overall show than with the “founding father without a father” himself.
2. Tickets Are Still Going to Be Hard to Get
Don’t think that the leading actors’ exit will all of a sudden make it easy to get Hamilton tickets. Its Tony wins and mainstream crossover all but guarantee the perpetually sold-out show will remain the hot ticket. All 1,319 seats in the Richard Rodgers Theatre are sold out completely through January 2017, with the current price for the 200 center orchestra premium seats at $849 – the most expensive ticket in Broadway history.
But there is hope! That high ticket price has been put in place to prevent online ticket bots – which are now illegal in New York – from buying seats in bulk for scalpers to resell at a higher price. There’s also a cap on the number of tickets potential audience members can purchase at a time – six.
Producers have added 25 more seats to Hamilton‘s popular $10 ticket lottery as well, meaning that there are now 46 spots per show (or 19,000 seats per year) open for the cost of one Hamilton.
The lottery is probably the only chance most will have to catch Miranda, Odom, Jr. and Soo’s final performance. Seats for the July 9 show are reselling for $20,000 each.
3. ‘Ham4Ham’ Will Have a New ‘Host4Ham’
One of the surprises to come out of Hamilton‘s success has been the advent of “Ham4Ham” – the popular pop-up performances Miranda and special guests put on outside the doors of the Richard Rodgers Theatre once a week (and online in the winter months) before the aforementioned lottery. The shows, conceived accidentally by Miranda, often feel like a live DVD extra, bringing together must-see moments for the biggest Hamilton fans.
But Miranda’s departure – which was celebrated Wednesday in the show’s traditional “Happy Trails” sendoff – means a new king has to take over emcee duties. And in June, Miranda officially passed over the mic to Rory O’Malley, who plays King George III in the musical.
It’s unclear what O’Malley’s version of “Ham4Ham” will feel like. Hopefully, he’ll continue to include the occasional Broadway star like Patti LuPone and unique behind-the-scenes moments from fans like Lea Michele.
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4. Hamilton Will Only Get Bigger
Often times on Broadway, the show’s original star will leave the production after his or her contract expires, and the show will quickly close, unable to maintain the same level of ticket sales. That’s not going to happen here.
Hamilton is only going to grow, giving more people an opportunity to experience the revolution. A national tour launches from San Francisco’s SHN Orpheum Theatre in March 2017, with stops planned in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Washington, DC, among others.
Separate from that, an open-ended Hamilton production is setting up shop in Chicago’s Private Bank Theatre. Opening night is set for September 27. And in October 2017, a London production will open at the Victoria Palace Theater.
That’s not all – there’s also the long-awaited mixtape of the show’s chart-topping cast album, which will feature musicians like Queen Latifah, Common, Busta Rhymes and more giving their interpretations of the show’s score and story. The album is expected in the fall.
And at some point, there will be a movie – though most likely not for a few years. It may or may not feature the show’s original cast, who were all filmed together during a recent performance. Miranda said the footage “is going to exist, but we don’t know what’s going to happen with it” during his first Periscope broadcast.
While you wait for it, PBS will air a 90-minute documentary called Hamilton’s America on October 21 about the making of the show. The film, with footage dating back to 2013, will also feature President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, among others.
5. Miranda Will Be Everywhere
Watching Lin-Manuel Miranda’s visibility and popularity rise over the past year has been a joy for longtime fans, who first fell in love with his talented songwriting and outspoken personality when In the Heights premiered in 2008. And Miranda’s stardom is only about to get bigger.
After penning a song for the last Star Wars film, he’ll return to his big screen composing role this November, writing the score for the new Disney film musical Moana. He’ll continue his Disney relationship, starring as a street lamplighter named Jack alongside Emily Blunt in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns.
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The Weinstein Co. also recently picked up the movie rights for In the Heights, and since the semi-autobiographical story is so personal to Miranda, he’d be the obvious choice to star.
Even if that doesn’t happen, Miranda will have a lot more time on his hands – meaning you can also expect more roles, new projects, and musical collaborations, like his new charity single with Jennifer Lopez.
And occasionally, Miranda said he’ll return to Hamilton. “I have written a role I can’t age out of,” he joked with PEOPLE at the 2016 Tony Awards press room. “I intend to drop-in on this, over and over again. Cut to 20 years from now and you’ll be like ‘Lin, when will you stop playing Hamilton?’ “