A ‘Hamilton’ timeline: How a single song grew into a global musical juggernaut
Superfans arriving to the theater dressed in 18th century garb. Voluminous online analyses of song lyrics. Ticket-buying frenzies. They’ve all become par for the course in the ever-popular world of “Hamilton.” The road to musical success, however, has been long and winding, forcing creator
April 26, 2004
In the beginning
Ron Chernow’s 800-plus-page “Alexander Hamilton” is published by Penguin Press. The biography becomes a bestseller and the catalyst for nationwide interest in this American Founding Father and first U.S. Treasury secretary.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is vacationing in Mexico, on a break from performing in his musical “In the Heights.” He reads Chernow’s biography of Hamilton, and the wheels start turning ...
May 12, 2009
Headed to the White House
Lin-Manuel Miranda performs at a “White House evening of poetry, music and the spoken word” — an evening the L.A. Times calls a “White House poetry jam.” He debuts a song, “Alexander Hamilton,” and earns a standing ovation. “I’m actually working on a hip-hop album,” Miranda says during the evening. “It’s a concept album about the life of someone I think embodies hip-hop: Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.”
Jan. 11, 2012
Hip-hop song cycle
Lin-Manuel Miranda debuts songs from his work in progress, “The Hamilton Mixtape,” at the Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series. As part of the “hip-hop song cycle” that evening, Miranda performs with Gavin Creel (later a Tony winner for “Hello, Dolly!”), James Monroe Iglehart (later a Tony winner for “Aladdin”) and two future stars of “Hamilton,” Mandy Gonzalez (Angelica Schuyler) and Christopher Jackson (George Washington).
March 6, 2014
Public Theater — and a name change
The Public Theater in New York announces the off-Broadway premiere of “The Hamilton Mixtape,” now being called “Hamilton,” as part of its 2014-15 season. The show continues to be developed under director Thomas Kail in workshops at the Public.
July 29, 2014
The first ticket frenzy
With buzz already building, tickets for the Public’s premiere of “Hamilton” go on sale, and Miranda is “overwhelmed” by the response.
Jan. 20, 2015
Hamilton has its off-Broadway opening at the Public, with Miranda playing Alexander Hamilton. Los Angeles Times theater critic Charles McNulty calls it “one of the freshest musicals to come around since ‘Rent’ burst onto the scene two decades ago.” The run at the Public ends May 3.
July 13, 2015
Moving on up
“Hamilton” transfers to Broadway and settles in at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
Aug. 6, 2015
The Great White Way
“Hamilton” has its official opening night on Broadway, to great acclaim. Charles McNulty cites it as among the year’s best theater, bringing “new currency to an art form too long enthralled to dopey movie adaptations and jukebox nostalgia.”
Sept. 28, 2015
It’s official: He’s a genius
The MacArthur Foundation names Miranda in its 2015 class of “genius grant” fellows, citing his efforts to reimagine American theater. About “Hamilton” the foundation says: “The daring pairing of street culture with America’s founding narrative recalls the youthful, defiant spirit of the American Revolution, and cross-racial casting connects the present day to the diverse immigrant society of the 13 rebel colonies.”
Feb. 15, 2016
Snagging a Grammy
“Hamilton” wins the Grammy Award for musical theater album. In his acceptance speech, Miranda raps his thank-yous. As part of the televised ceremony, the Broadway cast performs “Alexander Hamilton” live via satellite — a first for the Grammys. The evening, the L.A. Times says, was swept with “Hamilton fever.”
More awards pile up
April 18, 2016: “Hamilton” wins the Pulitzer Prize for drama.
May 3, 2016: “Hamilton” receives 16 Tony nominations, breaking the record of 15 nominations held by “The Producers.”
May 20, 2016: “Hamilton” wins outstanding production of a Broadway or off-Broadway musical at the Drama League Awards, where Miranda also wins the evening’s distinguished performance award.
June 12, 2016: “Hamilton” wins 11 Tony Awards, including the evening’s top honor, best musical.
Sept. 27, 2016
With “Hamilton” still running strong on Broadway, a second production begins previews in Chicago at the PrivateBank Theatre with Miguel Cervantes in the role as Alexander Hamilton and Joshua Henry as Aaron Burr. Chicago celebrates its opening night Oct. 19.
Oct. 21, 2016
‘Hamilton’ on PBS
“Hamilton” has become such a cultural phenomenon that PBS premieres the documentary “Hamilton’s America.” The show, directed by Alex Horwitz, looks at the making of the musical and is the season premiere of the PBS Arts Fall Festival.
Dec. 2, 2016
Mixtape, full circle
The musical that started life as a mixtape actually gets released as “The Hamilton Mixtape,” with the likes of Alicia Keys, John Legend, Chance the Rapper,
Planting a flag in the Golden State
“Hamilton” arrives in California. Preview performances begin at San Francisco’s SHN Orpheum Theatre on March 10, with opening night on March 23.
July 31, 2017
Early arrival in L.A.
At 4:45 a.m., the first trucks pull into the Hollywood Pantages Theatre to unload and install advance pieces of the L.A. set while the production is still playing in San Francisco.
Aug. 5, 2017
It’s a wrap in San Fran
The final perfomance in San Francisco means the production can pack up and hit hit the road for L.A. on the morning of Aug. 7.
Aug. 11, 2017
Pantages readies itself for preview No. 1
“Hamilton” previews are set to begin Aug. 11. The Pantages has installed 6,000 square yards of new red carpet for the run, and crews have been prepping the set and loading other rigging, costumes and props.
Aug. 16, 2017
A Hollywood opening
“Hamilton” is set for opening night in Los Angeles, with Michael Luwoye as Hamilton and Joshua Henry as Aaron Burr. At long last, Los Angeles is “the room where it happens.”
Nov. 21, 2017
Previews are scheduled to begin for a British production at the Victoria Palace Theatre.
Jan. 2, 2018
San Diego and beyond
After L.A., the “Hamilton” national tour moves on to the San Diego Civic Theatre. The following month, a second national tour kicks off in Seattle.
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