Near the end of blockbuster Broadway musical Hamilton, George Washington (Christopher Jackson) sings “One Last Time,” a farewell to the presidency and his treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda soon will be singing the same tune.
On July 9, less than a month after the Tony Awards, where Hamilton has a record 16 nominations, the contracts of many members of the current company — including Miranda, who also wrote the show’s book and music — will expire, sources close to the production tell The Hollywood Reporter.
Miranda, 36, has told confidants he will depart the show then to work on other projects. He wrote music for the Disney animated musical Moana (in theaters Nov. 23); The Weinstein Co. has picked up movie rights to his first Broadway musical, In the Heights; he’ll star with Emily Blunt in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns; Hamilton touring productions are in the works; and he has seeds of an idea for a new musical, he has told friends. It’s unclear if Miranda would perform in the show periodically (rather than the eight shows a week he currently does), and producers declined to comment on his status.
Meanwhile, other key players’ futures with the show, which last week grossed a whopping $1.9 million, remain in flux, as they are seeking big pay raises (on top of a profit-sharing deal the original cast secured from producers in April) and are prepared to walk if they don’t get them, according to sources.
It’s no shock that Miranda and company want to move on. The original cast began at New York’s Public Theater in January 2015 following a lengthy workshop/rehearsal period. After transferring to the Richard Rodgers Theatre in August, the show has become a cultural phenomenon, winning a Pulitzer and a Grammy and landing Miranda on the cover of magazines as diverse as Rolling Stone, Billboard and Fast Company. A year and a half is beyond the standard attachment for many original Broadway casts, and this one has been heavily courted elsewhere (Jackson, for one, is in CBS’ new series Bull).
As for the production, it’s under no obligation to forewarn ticket buyers (some of whom are paying $1,000-plus per seat to get into the room where it happens) about any departures. But Miranda leaving could create an even greater clamor to see Hamilton before July 9. Who might be in the audience for his final show? One smart bet is the Obamas, who’ve seen the show twice and invited the cast to the White House. Michelle Obama called Hamilton the “best piece of art in any form that I have ever seen in my life.”
This story first appeared in the June 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.