With Lin-Manuel Miranda and Other Major 'Hamilton' Cast Departures, What's Next for the Hit Show?

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions
The cast of Hamilton at the Tony Awards on June 12, 2016.

The hip-hop musical Hamilton already has set the Broadway box office on fire -- $81.9 million in tickets sold in 49 weeks -- and swept the Tony Awards with 11 wins, but with three of its stars leaving the cast this summer, including lead actor/­composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, what does it mean for the ­blockbuster's future?

Global expansion tops the list as casting nearly is done for a Chicago production set to open in October and feature a few familiar faces, teased Miranda during a Periscope Q&A on June 21 ("It's all new, folks, but you'll know some of them," he said). Also on deck: a touring production with 21-week runs in both San Francisco and Los Angeles that begins in March 2017, followed by a London debut.

Beyond the stage, a 90-­minute documentary from PBS' Great Performances, titled Hamilton's America, will air Oct. 17, and a Hamilton mixtape featuring various cuts of the show's songs is slated for a fall release on the Atlantic Records label.

But first, one final all-star ­performance on July 9, for which ticket prices are inching past $12,000 apiece. Only the stars' significant others have secured seats.

As for Hamilton's other departing stars, Tony-winning lead Leslie Odom Jr. released a self-titled jazz album June 10 on S-Curve Records/BMG and ­nominee Phillipa Soo will star in Broadway's Amelie musical. Miranda, who penned music for Disney's Moana and joins Emily Blunt in a Mary Poppins sequel, leaves the titular role of the founding father to Javier Munoz, his understudy since 2008's In the Heights. Munoz has played the lead character once a week since the show's 2015 launch and in front of some notable attendees, among them President Barack Obama, Beyoncé and Jay Z. Other principal players, including Tony winners Renée Elise Goldsberry and Daveed Diggs, as well as Christopher Jackson, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos and Jasmine Cephas Jones, are expected to renew their contracts while juggling other projects.

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The magic of Hamilton's ­original cast will live on, ­however, as RadicalMedia films two performances. How the archival footage eventually will be released has yet to be determined, but at least, says Miranda, "the room where it happens" will be captured for all to see.

This article originally appeared in the July 2 issue of Billboard.


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