Hamilton Musical in Puerto Rico
Hamilton Musical has become a cultural phenomenon since its debut in 2015. The musical, written and composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, tells the story of one of America’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton. The show has won numerous awards, including eleven Tony Awards, and has been praised for its innovative approach to storytelling, music, and diverse casting.
In January 2019, Hamilton Musical made history once again, as Lin-Manuel Miranda returned to the role of Alexander Hamilton for a special performance in Puerto Rico. This performance was not only a homecoming for Miranda, who was born and raised in New York City, but also a celebration of his Puerto Rican heritage.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Connection to Puerto Rico
Lin-Manuel Miranda has always been vocal about his Puerto Rican heritage. His parents were both born on the island, and he spent his summers there as a child. Miranda’s connection to Puerto Rico became even more apparent after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September 2017.
In the aftermath of the hurricane, Miranda used his platform to raise awareness and funds for relief efforts. He released a charity single, “Almost Like Praying,” which featured a star-studded cast of Latinx artists and included the names of all 78 Puerto Rican municipalities. The song raised over $17 million for the Hispanic Federation’s Unidos Disaster Relief Fund.
Miranda’s efforts to support Puerto Rico did not end there. He also brought Hamilton Musical to Puerto Rico as a way to bring attention to the island’s ongoing recovery efforts.
Hamilton Musical’s Impact on Puerto Rico
The Hamilton Musical’s production in Puerto Rico brought a significant boost to the island’s economy and tourism industry. The show sold out all of its 23 performances, attracting thousands of visitors to the island. The local businesses, hotels, and restaurants all benefited from the influx of tourists, with some reporting a 20% increase in sales during the show’s run.
But the impact of Hamilton Musical in Puerto Rico was not only economic. The show also had a significant cultural and educational impact on the island. Hamilton Musical tells the story of one of America’s founding fathers, but it also speaks to themes that resonate with Puerto Ricans, such as the struggle for independence and self-determination.
The show’s diverse casting, with actors of color portraying white historical figures, also resonated with Puerto Rican audiences. Puerto Rico has a complex racial history, with a mix of indigenous, African, and European ancestry, and the casting choices reflected the island’s diverse population.
In addition, the show’s music and lyrics provided a unique opportunity for Puerto Rican students to learn about American history and culture. The Puerto Rico Department of Education partnered with the Hamilton Education Program, which provides educational resources and tickets to students in underserved communities, to bring over 2,500 Puerto Rican students to see the show.
The production of Hamilton Musical in Puerto Rico was not without its challenges. The show had to be adapted to accommodate the smaller stage at the University of Puerto Rico’s Teatro UPR, where the performances were held. The production team had to make adjustments to the set, lighting, and choreography to ensure that the show would work in the new venue.
The cast and crew also had to contend with the unique logistical challenges of performing in Puerto Rico. The island’s tropical climate, with its high humidity and frequent rain showers, posed a risk to the show’s technical equipment and costumes. The production team had to take extra precautions to protect the show’s props, costumes, and instruments from moisture and damage.
Despite these challenges, the production of Hamilton Musical in Puerto Rico was a resounding success.
The Importance of Hamilton Musical in Puerto Rico
The significance of having the Hamilton Musical performed in Puerto Rico cannot be overstated. The show not only provided a much-needed boost to the island’s economy and tourism industry but also had a profound cultural and educational impact.
For Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show was a way to celebrate his Puerto Rican heritage and give back to the island that had suffered so much after Hurricane Maria. “This is a love letter to Puerto Rico,” he said in an interview with CBS News. “This is me saying thank you to the island that gave me everything.”
For Puerto Ricans, the show was a source of pride and inspiration. It was a reminder that even in the face of adversity, Puerto Ricans could achieve great things. As Puerto Rican actress and Hamilton cast member, Sabrina Sloan, put it: “We are warriors, we are fighters, we are resilient. We are everything that Hamilton embodies.”
The impact of the Hamilton Musical in Puerto Rico has also extended beyond the island’s borders. The show’s success has helped to elevate the profile of Puerto Rican artists and performers, many of whom have struggled to gain recognition in the mainstream media.
As Lin-Manuel Miranda said in a speech at the closing night of the show: “Puerto Rico, you lovely island. Land of Borinquen where the brave and the humble get up and keep going. You are not alone.”
The production of Hamilton Musical in Puerto Rico was a historic event that brought together two cultures and celebrated the rich heritage of one of America’s greatest musical talents. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s connection to Puerto Rico, coupled with the show’s themes of independence and self-determination, made it a powerful statement of pride and resilience.
The success of the show has also highlighted the importance of supporting Puerto Rico’s ongoing recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria. By bringing attention to the island’s struggles and providing much-needed economic and cultural support, the Hamilton Musical has become a symbol of hope and inspiration for Puerto Ricans and people around the world.
In the end, the Hamilton Musical in Puerto Rico was more than just a show. It was a celebration of the human spirit, a testament to the power of art and culture, and a reminder that even in the face of adversity, we can rise above it and achieve great things.