Lin-Manuel Miranda says goodbye to 'Hamilton' to the tune of 'The West Wing'
Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the broadway sensation 'Hamilton,' performed his final night in the title role on Saturday. It was also the final night for other members of the original cast, including Tony Award-winning actor Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo Wochit
NEW YORK — One of the songs in Hamilton, the smash Broadway musical that has taken the Tony Awards and the world by storm, is called One Last Time, and it's sung by George Washington, as he explains to Hamilton, his protégé, that he must teach future presidents "how to say goodbye."
If anyone knows how to say goodbye, it's the man who created Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who, along with co-stars Leslie Odom Jr. (Aaron Burr) and Phillipa Soo (Eliza Schuyler Hamilton), performed in the musical one last time on Saturday. So how did the multiple Tony Award winner and MacArthur Genius say goodbye to the show that's become a phenomenon? Quietly, with a lot of emotion, and with music from The West Wing.
Tickets for Miranda's final show (although he has said that leaving the current run doesn't mean he'll never revisit it) were listed for as much as $20,000 on ticket resale sites such as StubHub. The crowd, which lined up around the theater hours before the start time, included Jennifer Lopez, Rosie O'Donnell and Secretary of State John Kerry. And when Miranda walked out on the stage of the Richard Rogers Theatre and sang Alexander Hamilton, the crowd stood and applauded. For a full minute.
And, of course, at the end of the show Miranda, Odom and Soo led the company in a final curtain call to an almost immediate standing ovation. As expected, the trio was visibly emotional (as were the audience and many other cast members). What apparently wasn't expected was the orchestra breaking into the theme song from The West Wing. Miranda appeared surprised by this, and visibly moved (the star has cited the Aaron Sorkin show as one of his influences while writing Hamilton).
After the audience filed out of the theater, hundreds of fans stood on the street in the pouring rain hoping that members of the cast might show up at the stage door. Miranda instead appeared on the balcony above the theater, holding an umbrella. He didn't make a speech or sing or rap. He simply waved to the crowd below and went back inside (he poked his head back out a window a few minutes later, just for fun). Before going to the after party, he cut his hair and tweeted a photo of his shorn locks.
Miranda didn't need a lot of words to say goodbye on Saturday, as he's spoken at length about the show and his decision to leave. Earlier in the week, at his final "Ham4Ham" performance (low-tech performances from the cast and special guests for fans who attempt the ticket lottery), he said goodbye by reading a passage from the biography of Alexander Hamilton that started it all.
"It kind of captures everything I love about Hamilton," Miranda said. "He's kind of arrogant, he's kind of insecure, he's unbelievably romantic. It's funny, it's sad and it's basically him saying to Eliza, 'Don't marry me if you think you can't be happy broke, because we might end up broke.' "
But of course, without Miranda, Odom and Soo, the show must go on. Javier Muñoz, Brandon Victor Dixon and Lexi Lawson now take the parts of Hamilton, Burr and Eliza, respectively. Miranda soon will be starring in Disney's Mary Poppins Returns. Just like Hamilton, the man is non-stop.