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The Rise Of… Lin Manuel-Miranda.

by Laura W 

Oh, Lin Manuel-Miranda. Mr. Manuel-Miranda. The man, a multiple Tony, Grammy, and Emmy winner, is quite literally a genius. From Hamilton (one of the biggest musicals, if not the biggest, of all time) and In The Heights, to being tapped to write the music for the upcoming Disney film Moana, to writing a song for some little film named Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and more.  His freestyling and improvisations are out of this world, and overall, Manuel-Miranda’s talent is just too much for this universe. Miranda is also one of the youngest recipients of The Pulitzer Prize (he’s only 36!). It doesn’t help he is also one of the biggest musical theatre nerds ever.

His most recent Broadway show, Hamilton, is sold out until the beginning of next year. The show itself broke Tony Awards history when it received 16 nominations, the most Tony nods in history. The question is, though, who is Lin-Manuel Miranda? Where does all this genius come from? Impressed yet? No? Keep reading.

Miranda was born, probably improvising, rapping and writing his way into the world, in Washington Heights, in January 1980. Even as a child, Miranda was creating and writing. It’s evident that the talent has been there from the get go.  During his time at Uni, he co-founded Freestyle Love Supreme, a hip hop comedy troupe. It was also during this time that he wrote the initial draft of In the Heights. It ran for several days in April 1999. Miranda would also direct, write and act in a range of numerous other shows at his Uni.

In the early ’00’s, Miranda, along with several others, started to fully work on Into the Heights, before officially coming to Broadway in ’08. The show would win several major awards, including a Best Musical Tony and and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album (Hamilton would win the same Grammy – pattern here, methinks?). Miranda left the show in ’09. It would transfer to London’s West End in 2015. Earlier this year, it was confirmed that the show would be turned into a film, one of Miranda’s big news stories for this year.

On top of all his theatre work, Miranda has appeared in numerous films and television shows, including House, How I Met Your Mother, The Sopranos and even Sesame Street. Films include The Odd Life of Timothy Green. At one point, he even worked with Stephen Sondheim to translate the lyrics of West Side Story into Spanish, so this version could be brought to life on stage. He also wrote the music and lyrics to the musical Bring It On.

Miranda officially confirmed earlier this month that he, in another exciting move, would be leaving Hamilton in July, not only to continue work on Disney’s Moana, but to prepare for his role in Mary Poppins Returns, alongside British actress Emily Blunt. The film will open Christmas Day, 2018. Miranda will play Jack, a lamplighter, a completely new character. It seems Miranda is becoming part of the Disney works, as he’s worked on Star Wars, Moana, and now this.

If he wins an Oscar for Moana or In The Heights, of which predictions are leaning towards, he will become the third person in history to receive the PEGOT (Pulitzer, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony), after Marvin Hamlisch and Richard Rodgers. Miranda also received the Drama League Distinguished Performance Award in May of this year. Why is this special? The performer can only receive this once during their entire career.

It’s been success after success for Miranda. Need even more proof? Go look up Bigger, the opening number of the 2013 Tony’s. Miranda wrote the number, and it’s been hailed as one of the best opening numbers for the Tony’s ever. It would eventually win him an Emmy. He has truly outdone himself, from his shows to his huge amount of talent to even putting on Ham4Ham. He can only get bigger from here.

 

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