Lin-Manuel Miranda to Star in 'Hamilton' in Puerto Rico
The hit musical will play a special three-week run in early 2019.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is not throwing away his shot.
The Tony-winning creator of Hamilton will reprise his lead role as Alexander Hamilton in a limited engagement of the hit musical in Puerto Rico, he and producer Jeffrey Seller announced Wednesday.
Hamilton will play a three-week run, Jan. 8-27, 2019, at Teatro UPR, the theater at the University of Puerto Rico’s main campus in the Rio Piedras section of San Juan. Built in 1939, Teatro UPR is considered Puerto Rico’s most iconic stage, and recently hosted Spanish language productions of Evita, Into the Woods, Master Class, The Sound of Music and Once on This Island.
Miranda's first musical, In the Heights, also played in Puerto Rico in 2010, with the actor-composer also reprising his role. Though a Puerto Rico run has been in the works, its announcement comes with an urgency following the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Since then, Miranda has been working solely and tirelessly on relief efforts, including releasing the all-star charity single "Almost Like Praying."
"Bringing Hamilton: An American Musical to Puerto Rico is a dream that I’ve had since we first opened at The Public Theater in 2015," stated Miranda. “When I last visited the island, a few weeks before Hurricane Maria, I had made a commitment to not only bring the show to Puerto Rico, but also return again to the title role. In the aftermath of Maria we decided to expedite the announcement of the project to send a bold message that Puerto Rico will recover and be back in business, stronger than ever."
The announcement was made from the stage at Teatro UPR, which suffered damage during Hurricane Maria’s landfall Sept. 20. Teatro UPR has undergone prior restorations, most recently in 2006, and will undergo repairs before Hamilton's 2019 opening, including roofing and ventilation systems damaged by the category 4 storm.
The Puerto Rico run of Hamilton aims not only to bring "the story of this Caribbean founding father to the Caribbean," but also to "play a positive role in bringing the artistic pulse of the community back to life," said Seller. "Arts and culture are pillars for economic development, cultural tourism, community empowerment and growth. As always, we will work to ensure accessibility for all audiences and a large proportion of our seats for every performance will be available by lottery for $10 each — a Hamilton."
The local co-presenting partner in Puerto Rico is the Acisum Group. “Right now, people in Puerto Rico need good news that would bring them hope, optimism, courage and a solid vision for the future," said Ender Vega, Acisum's president. "We have no doubt that Hamilton's premiere in Puerto Rico in January 2019 will do just that."
Hamilton remains one of the toughest tickets on Broadway, where it has grossed $275 million to date at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The show also is playing in Chicago and on tour in Los Angeles (through December 2017). A London production will open next month, and a second U.S. national tour begins Feb. 2018 in Seattle.