Who Will Replace Lin-Manuel Miranda In 'Hamilton'? There's A Chance You've Already Seen Him Perform
Lin-Manuel Miranda who graced Broadway with Hamilton almost exactly a year ago, may not be sticking around for much longer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Miranda "has told confidants he will depart the show July 9 to work on other projects." Bustle has reached out to Lin-Manuel Miranda for comment, but has yet to receive a response. But whenever and if ever he does leave the show, be it before, after, or on July 9, who will replace Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton ? Because an official departure date has yet to be confirmed, so too has Miranda's replacement. But I'm going to go out on a (very sturdy) limb and guess that the new Alexander Hamilton will be someone who many audiences have already seen perform the role: Miranda's understudy, Javier Muñoz.
Muñoz already performs weekly, taking over for Miranda on Sunday matinees so the extremely busy creator and star can have a performance off. And according to The New York Times, he's just as good as Miranda in the part. Muñoz also has experience working with Miranda — Vulture reports that he understudied Miranda's role in In the Heights , and went on to replace him in that Broadway run. So it seems likely that when the curtain goes up after Miranda's rumored departure, Muñoz could be the one belting out that he's "not throwing away his shot."
One of the many things that's helped audiences fall so deeply in love with Hamilton and Miranda's performance is that the guy is a total open book — and I think once they get the chance to know Muñoz, they'll feel exactly the same way.
He's Been With Hamilton Since The Beginning
In that interview with Vulture, Muñoz explained that back when the Broadway hit was still just "The Hamilton Mixtape," he was a part of the show's development. "From that first rehearsal, I can definitely recall hearing the music for the first time and thinking, 'I don’t know what this is gonna be, but damn it, it’s just so good,'" he told Vulture. "Certainly back when it was just music stands and a piano, I thought, this is a kick-ass musical."
And, He's Been A Lin-Manuel Collaborator For Years
If you've never seen or heard pieces of Muñoz's performance as Usnavi in In the Heights, check it out, because his performance is different from Miranda's, but no less skillful. In fact, he's fantastic in the role, and that should be the same when it comes to Hamilton.
And He's A Ham4Ham Pro
Back when the show's lottery used to be in person (it's since moved online) the show started a tradition of doing daily "Ham4Ham" performances outside the stage door. One of the best has got to be the In the Heights reunion with a bunch of the Hamilton/Heights crossover cast and guest Karen Olivo.
He's Beating Cancer
Recently, Muñoz revealed to The New York Post that he's been fighting cancer since late 2015. It was a surprise to the many people who have seen his perform on stage, because as Muñoz told the Post, he spent months without without doing much more than take a few sick days. "I spent about six weeks not wanting to think about it, face, it, deal with it," he told the outlet. But throughout that time, Muñoz was never replaced — director Thomas Kail told the Post that "Javi’s not the alternate — he is Hamilton on Sundays."
He Makes The Cast Something Special
According to this "Aaron Burr, Sir" video from Broadway.com, Muñoz makes the cast cafecito, a caffeine-rich Cuban coffee, for the unique challenge of two-show days. That makes Muñoz's dressing room the place to be backstage at Hamilton.
He Performed For Barack Obama & Beyoncé
The President and the rest of the first family all saw Muñoz's very first performance in the title role, and in a later performance, he performed for the first family of music, Beyoncé and Jay Z. Muñoz says in his Vulture interview that the first thing President Obama said to him was, "You are wonderful." I'm not going to argue with the Commander in Chief on this one.
If it turns out that Javier Muñoz will be replacing Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton on Broadway, the musical will absolutely be in good hands — and from the perspective of the people behind Hamilton, Muñoz has been a part of the show's DNA since before it even premiered.