Before The 'Hamilton' Cast Performs At The Grammys, Get To Know These Revolutionary Stars
Once upon a time, I had to practically beg my friends to listen to my favorite musical theatre cast albums, and now Hamilton is performing at the Grammys. Not that I did anything in particular, but I'm so proud to see Broadway front and center for a change! The show is running rampant through pop culture, and this seems like a natural progression. If you're wondering who these crazy kids are and why we're all obsessed with them, let me introduce you to the cast of Hamilton on Broadway.
How was a Broadway musical about a founding father invited to this glitz and glam event? Besides the fact that the Hamilton cast album is nominated, the music of is a love letter to generations and generations of popular music. There have been a lot of rumors surrounding the performance, some involving Taylor Swift, so let me set things straight: the cast of Hamilton will be performing "Alexander Hamilton," the opening number of their show, at some point during the Grammys via satellite from the Richard Rogers Theater in New York City, according to USA Today. They aren't opening the Grammys. They are performing their opening at the Grammys. It's a lot, I know.
If this is your first ever introduction to Hamilton, or the people behind that mind-blowing cast album, I'm here to help you out. You're going to see a lot faces during Monday night's performance, so here's who they are and who they play.
The man himself, Miranda wrote Hamilton and stars in Hamilton (most of the time — some performances feature the equally awesome Javier Muñoz in the lead role). Miranda's first Broadway hit was In The Heights, which he also wrote and starred in as Usnavi. Before Hamilton, you may know him from his guest starring roles on House, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, a song in Star Wars: The Force Awakens , as well as his work for Sesame Street and The Electric Company. He's gunning for an EGOT at warp speed — all he needs is that "O," and the fact that he's composing music for Disney's upcoming Moana is a pretty good omen.
Leslie Odom Jr.
He plays Aaron Burr, who if you know your history is technically the villain here, but like life and any good story there's more to it than that. You might remember Odom Jr. from Smash, but if you do — why am I telling you about the Hamilton cast, you fellow theatre geek? Anyway, you may know him from recurring roles on Person of Interest and Law & Order SVU.
Renée Elise Goldsberry
If Angelica Schuyler doesn't steal your heart in Hamilton, I don't want to know you. Goldsberry also has a lot of television credits. She plays Geneva Pine on The Good Wife and was also on The Following and Once Life To Live. Plus, you have got to check out her cypher from the 2015 BET Hip Hop Awards — though yes, Daveed Diggs' and Lin-Manuel Miranda's are good too.
In the first act, Diggs plays the Marquis De Lafayette. In the second, he plays founding father and future POTUS Thomas Jefferson himself. His hair is magnificent, his voice is insane, and he might be having the most fun on stage, but with this cast that is definitely debatable. Diggs recently appeared on Law & Order: SVU as a lawyer, and his voice can be heard everywhere on the new Surface Pro commercials.
Alexander Hamilton's wife may be who this show is secretly about. You tell me. The actress graduated from The Julliard School, and was also on Smash.
Playing our first President is a member of Miranda's hip hop group Freestyle Love Supreme. He was also in In The Heights and worked on children's television as well. Remember that song "I Love My Hair" that everyone was obsessed with a few years ago? He co-wrote it!
This is the only main cast member who you may not see in the Grammy broadcast, because he doesn't appear in the opening song, but I can't not include him. You may know him as Kristoff from Frozen, Jesse St. James on Glee, or his starring turn in Looking as Patrick. Maybe you're a Spring Awakening fan from back in the day — he played Melchior alongside Lea Michele. In Hamilton, he plays King George and impressed the Queen herself, Beyoncé, with his walk.
Playing first John Laurens, an early anti-slavery advocate and friend to Alexander, and later on Hamilton's son Phillip is an actor you might also recognize from the SVU episode with Diggs. If you're a This American Life fan, Ramos played one of the lead roles in a musicalization written by Miranda called "21 Chump Street." Fun fact — he's dating fellow cast member Jasmine Cephas Jones! So cute!
Okieriete Onaodowan aka "Oak"
He plays a tailor and Revolutionary War spy named Hercules Mulligan in the first act, and James Madison in the second. He also plays the above flower girl. Why not? Onaodowan was in the musical Rocky and a production of the play Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway. His screen credits include the movie Thanks For Sharing and an episode of Blue Bloods. You should also definitely listen to him sing "Defying Gravity"... as Mickey Mouse.
Jasmine Cephas Jones
Always last but never least, the third Schulyer sister has become a bit of a meme — but you won't be laughing at Jones' second act character, Maria Reynolds. That's a major Hamilton spoiler, so I'll leave it at that. Jones is in Mistress America , and has one of the most unique voices in the show in the best way.
You'll also see the amazing ensemble, who have their own fanbases among the Hamilton trash. Thayne Jasperson, anybody? But as far as main characters go, that about rounds up the Hamilton cast. If you don't know, now you know — because their Grammy performance is gonna be pretty epic.