MASTER OF MUSICALS
By Lee Parham
Actor, composer, and director Lin Manuel-Miranda is set to have a massive month with Tick Tick… Boom! and Encanto gracing screens. Let's take a look back on the maestro's career.
Lin-Manuel Miranda was born in New York City in 1980 to a family of Puerto Rican descent. His NYC origins would later go on to inspire a lot of his accomplishments.
While studying at Wesleyan University in the late 1990s, Miranda concocted the first draft of the script for his stage play In The Heights. The production would be professionally produced in 2005.
After running in Connecticut and Off-Broadway, the musical would make its Broadway debut in 2008 before going on tour in the US. It later received 4 Tony Award nominations.
Over the following years, Miranda lent his talents to several other stage plays as an actor and composer. However, he was never the mastermind behind any of the productions.
Miranda's career would change forever in 2015 with the release of Hamilton, a highly stylized retelling of the revolutionary war and founding fathers from Alexander Hamilton's point of view.
Miranda described Hamilton as "America then, as told by America now" in reference to casting non-white actors as America's famous founding fathers, including George Washington, Aaron Burr, and more.
Not only was Hamilton a critical darling, winning a slew of Tony awards after a record-breaking number of nominations, the play additionally became a cultural phenomenon, taking the world by storm.
Ticket prices surged as Hamilton eventually went on tour with various cast members. In summer 2020, Disney released a filmed version of the original cast on Disney+.
Despite the footage being from 2016, the 2020 filmed version of Hamilton was considered by the Golden Globes and Emmys as eligible for awards consideration, earning Miranda and co. more praise.
The immense success of Hamilton propelled Lin-Manuel's career to new heights. His next endeavor was composing the soundtrack for Moana, an Oscar-nominated Disney princess film with an island setting.
Miranda forged a bountiful relationship with Disney, appearing in Mary Poppins Returns in 2018, composing the soundtrack for Encanto in 2021, and developing songs for The Little Mermaid in 2023.
2021 has been a huge year for Miranda, with the aforementioned In The Heights receiving a film adaptation with Lin-Manuel in a small part and his Hamilton co-star Anthony Ramos starring as Usnavi.
Additionally, Miranda has also made his film directorial debut with Tick, Tick… Boom!, an adaptation of a stage play he once starred in. The film stars Andrew Garfield in the lead role.
The last half-decade has seen Lin-Manuel Miranda begin his takeover of the entertainment industry with no signs of slowing down from the stage to the screen.