UPDATE: 6/16/2016- It has been confirmed that Javier Muñoz will, indeed, be taking over the role of Alexander Hamilton after Lin-Manuel Miranda takes his final bow (for now) on July 9th! Read below who also might be in the running somewhere in the Broadway run.
‘Twas the week before Tonys,
And all through Broadway,
Not a creature was stirring…
Until we finally received the impending announcement most of us have been dreading:
Lin-Manuel Miranda is leaving Hamilton.
That’s right, folks, the Tony Award-winning actor will take his final bow as Alexander Hamilton on July 9th. Yes, we’re all pretty shocked about this news, even though we all knew this day would come. But let’s be real, the guy’s had a huge year. He wants to create new work, he has a son to raise, you can’t blame him for wanting to take a… take some time to himself. I refuse to use any of those puns.
If your departure from your musical, for which you have three Tony nominations, is getting press from every outlet from the “New York Times” to “Rolling Stone,” and the world reacts, you had to have changed the musical theatre game in a massive, paramount way.
But just you wait (damn it!). Think of all of the many projects we can look forward to within the next few years! He’s officially tapped to co-star in Disney’s “Mary Poppins” sequel alongside Emily Blunt, “Mary Poppins Returns”; he’s writing music for Disney’s upcoming animated picture “Moana,” which may help him snag an Oscar, thus earning him that EGOT status; and early work for the long-awaited In the Heights film adaptation, now with The Weinstein Company after years in development Hell with Universal, will finally begin.
He’ll also probably oversee more Hamilton-related work on the US tour, London transfer, and first-ever musical production in Antarctica or something.
And if you think his leaving may somehow impact your chances of scoring a golden ticket to this Pulitzer/Grammy/future-Tony winner, fear not, my child. You’re still not getting tickets without selling an arm, a kidney, your newborn child, taking out a second mortgage, or forgoing a trip to Europe. Hell, can we talk about the fact that his final performance is currently going for $10,000 a ticket?
So, now that we’ve settled that, here’s who Broadway Black would like to see don the blue coat:
Javier Muñoz – Munoz may be the obvious choice, as he currently performs as the alternate Hamilton on select weekend performances. He also understudied and later replaced Miranda as Usnavi during In the Heights.
Corbin Bleu – This former Wildcat just announced a return to Broadway in Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn. He made his Broadway debut as another replacement (and might I add, phenomenal) Usnavi, and later played Jesus in Godspell and Seaweed in the Hollywood Bowl production of Hairspray.
Mos Def – Yasiin Bey has numerous film, television, and theatre credits to his name, including his Broadway debut in Suzan-Lori Parks’ play Topdog/Underdog.
Saul Williams – Williams recently appeared on Broadway in the ill-fated Tupac Shakur musical Holler If Ya Hear Me, alongside current Hamilton cast-member Chris Jackson.
Patina Miller – This leading lady recently scored a Tony Award for her dark turn as the Leading Player in the cirque-themed revival of Pippin. I think she’d make a fabulous Hamilton, or even Aaron Burr, as he’s essentially Hamilton‘s “Leading Player.”
Common – While many found his acting questionable in “The Wiz Live!” (I thought he was adorable), who’s to say he wouldn’t be able to brilliantly capture the nuance and swag that the tomcat Hamilton exudes?
Jussie Smollett – Smollett attempted some rapping in the hit musical television show “Empire.” Perhaps he could bring his talents to Broadway.
Renée Elise Goldsberry – She’s currently “work, work”-ing it as Angelica Schuyler, for which she’s nominated a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, but what’s stopping her from possibly moving on from one fierce role to gender bending another (Lena Hall as Hedwig, anyone?).
Drake – Or as I know him, Aubrey Graham, or better yet, Jimmy Brooks of “Degrassi” fame. He did get his start in the long-running Canadian teen drama show, after all. And most of us know this wouldn’t be the first time he’s played a character who gets sh…. Yeah… moving right along…
Queen Latifah – I mean, come on. She could tackle either Hamilton or Washington and I’d believe it. #queen4ham
TBH, they wouldn’t have to cast a big name in any of the roles to bring in an audience to this behemoth. But rest assured Lin, to whomever you pass the torch, A.Ham is in good hands.