Entertainment & Arts

‘Hamilton’ musical wins Pulitzer Prize for drama

‘Hamilton’ on Broadway

“Hamilton” uses a multiethnic cast and a hip-hop score to tell the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton. 

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The victory lap for “Hamilton” received an awards boost on Monday when the hit Broadway show won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, making it one of a handful musicals to have nabbed the honor. 

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the musical and stars in the title role, will receive the prize at a ceremony in New York later this year. In its citation, the Pulitzer organizers called the show “a landmark American musical.”

Finalists in the drama category were Stephen Karam’s critically acclaimed play “The Humans,” which is also on Broadway, and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ “Gloria,” seen last year at the Vineyard Theatre in New York.

The win for “Hamilton” comes after a rocky few weeks for the musical, in which producers have dealt with a series of publicity crises. The show recently reached a deal that would allow original cast members to share in profits, after they claimed that they were being unfairly excluded from the show’s box-office windfall.


The musical has also received criticism for historical inaccuracies as well as a recent casting notice that requested only ethnic minority actors. Producers later modified the casting call to welcome actors of all colors to audition for Broadway and future touring productions. 

“Hamilton” uses a multiethnic cast and an anachronistic hip-hop score to tell the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton. 

Other musicals that have won the drama prize include “Next to Normal,” “Rent,” “Sunday in the Park With George” and “A Chorus Line.”

Last year’s prize went to the play “Between Riverside and Crazy,” by Stephen Adly Guirgis.


“Hamilton,” which is running at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York, opened last year at the Public Theater. The national tour is scheduled to come to the Pantages in Hollywood in 2017.

The musical has been a critical and popular success, even drawing a wide spectrum of prominent political figures, including President Barack Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have both attended performances.

Among the other prizes, jazz composer Henry Threadgill won the Pulitzer for music for his composition “In for a Penny, In for a Pound.”

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