Miranda at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word on May 12, 2009
January 16, 1980 |
New York City
Lin-Manuel Miranda (born January 16, 1980) is an American composer, rapper, lyricist, and actor. He's most famous for writing and starring as Usnavi in the Broadway musical In the Heights, which opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in 2008 and for which he won the Tony Award as composer and lyricist.
After graduating from Hunter College High School, Miranda went on to attend Wesleyan University and graduated in 2002. During this time, he co-founded a hip hop comedy troupe called Freestyle Love Supreme. He wrote the earliest draft of In the Heights in 1999, his sophomore year of college. After the show was accepted by Second Stage, Wesleyan's student theater company, Miranda worked on adding "freestyle rap ... bodegas, and salsa numbers." It played from 20 April to 22 April.
Miranda wrote and directed several other musicals at Wesleyan. He also acted in many other productions, ranging from musicals to Shakespeare.
In the Heights
In 2002, Miranda and Mailer worked with director Tommy Kail and wrote five separate drafts of In the Heights that were dissected. During this time, Miranda worked as an English teacher at his former high school. After making it off-Broadway, the play went to Broadway in 2008. Miranda made his last performance in the Broadway show on February 15, 2009.
However, Miranda reprised his role of Usnavi when the national tour of In the Heights played in Los Angeles, California from June 23 to July 25, 2010. The tour continued without him at the helm until it played in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he played Usnavi.
The Broadway production played its final performance on January 9, 2011 after 29 previews and 1,185 regular performances. Miranda reprised the role of Usnavi from December 25, 2010 until the closing of the production.
Miranda wrote, directed, and acted in an independent film called Clayton's Friends (1996). In 2007, Miranda made an appearance on the television series The Sopranos in the episode "Remember When." Miranda also worked as an English teacher at his former high school, wrote for the Manhattan Times as a columnist and restaurant reviewer, and composed music for commercials. In 2008, Miranda was invited by composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz to contribute two new songs to a revised version of Schwartz and Nina Faso's 1978 musical Working, which opened in May 2008 at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida.
Miranda wrote Spanish language dialogue and worked with Stephen Sondheim to translate into Spanish song lyrics for the revival of West Side Story, which opened on Broadway in March 2009. He is also a composer and actor on the 2009 revival of The Electric Company. Miranda also appeared in the CollegeHumor sketch "Hardly Working: Rap Battle," playing himself working as an intern and rapper. In September 2009, Miranda played Alvie, Gregory House's roommate in a psychiatric hospital, in the two-hour season six premiere episode of House. He reprised the role in May 2010. He also has done work for Sesame Street, where he has played occasional roles and sings the theme song to Murray Has a Little Lamb.
He is a member of Freestyle Love Supreme, a performance group of freestylers that make up words on the spot. Chris Jackson, a member of the original Broadway cast of In the Heights, is also a member.
Miranda and the cast of In the Heights performed segments from the show at the Lincoln Center Barnes and Noble. They also performed at the Virgin Megastore. Recently a flash mob performance done by Flash Mob America showing a large scale street version of 96,000 being performed as Miranda ate lunch. Miranda has made several popular YouTube videos centered on In the Heights, performing songs like "Bet on It" from High School Musical 2 and "Run This Town" with lyrics altered to concern the show.
He is working on The Hamilton Mixtape, a hip hop album based upon the life of Alexander Hamilton. He performed part of it at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word on May 12, 2009, accompanied by Alex Lacamoire.
He also co-wrote the music and lyrics for Bring It On: The Musical, with Tom Kitt and Amanda Green. The musical opened on October 30, 2011 at the Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, California at the start of a US National tour.
He appeared as Charley in an Encores! staged concert of Merrily We Roll Along at the New York City Center which ran from February 8, 2012 to February 19.
The principal female character in In the Heights, Vanessa, is not based on Nadal, as many people believe. At the wedding reception, Miranda, along with the wedding party, presented Vanessa with a group rendition of the Fiddler on the Roof song "To Life". The video was posted on YouTube and quickly became popular on the internet.
Miranda received an honorary degree from Yeshiva University during its May 14, 2009 graduation ceremony. He is the youngest person to receive an honorary degree from Yeshiva University. His show In the Heights is based in the upper Manhattan community of Washington Heights, which is also home to Yeshiva's campus. Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City, presented Miranda with the degree and remarked about first meeting him when Miranda was seven years old.
Miranda has won the following awards:
- 2009 Grammy, Best Musical Show Album, In the Heights
- 2008 Tony Award, Best Musical, In the Heights
- 2008 Tony Award, Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, In the Heights
- 2008 Dramatists Guild of America Frederick Loewe Award ("achievement in a theatrical score presented on Broadway in the previous theatrical season")
- 2007 Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut, In the Heights
- 2007 Clarence Derwent Award, In the Heights
- 2007 Obie Award for Music and Lyrics, In the Heights
- 2007 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Ensemble Performance, In the Heights
- 2007 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Musical, In the Heights
- 2007 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, In the Heights
- 2007 Broadway.com Audience Award for Favorite Off-Broadway Musical, In the Heights
In addition, Miranda was nominated for the following awards:
- 2007 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Lyrics, In the Heights
- 2007 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Music, In the Heights
- 2008 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
- 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, one of three finalists
- "The Conceiver". In the Heights. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
- Murphy, Tim (2008-03-07). "Lin-Manuel Miranda of ‘In the Heights’ on No Longer Being in the Heights". New York Entertainment (The New York Times). Retrieved 2008-08-26.
- Playbill News: Lin-Manuel Miranda to Leave In the Heights in February
- Ng, David. Lin-Manuel Miranda returning to 'In the Heights' at Pantages Theater, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2010.
- Lin-Manuel and In The Heights Say Bye-Bye to Los Angeles, Broadway.com
- In the Heights to Close on Broadway in January; Miranda to Return to Cast
- Lin-Manuel Miranda at Broadway.com
- Lin-Manuel Miranda—Writer, "In The Heights." at bigsight.org
- Jones, Kenneth. Working, with Two New Songs by Heights Writer Miranda, Opens in FL May 16, Playbill, 16 May 2008.
- Cohen, Patricia (March 11, 2009). "Same City, New Story". The New York Times.
- This Could Drive a Person Crazy
- Hardly Working: Rap Battle
- "Baggage", House M.D. episode, the Internet Movie Database. (2010)
- Lin-Manuel Miranda Performs at the White House Poetry Jam: 8 of 8
- "Stage Tube: Highlights from 'Bring It On: The Musical' Day!" broadwayworld.com, October 28, 2011
- "'Bring It On: The Musical' Listing" centertheatregroup.org, accessed November 6, 23011
- "Lin-Manuel Miranda To Recur On NBC Drama Series ‘Do No Harm’" deadline.com, September 12, 2012
- "Vows: Vanessa Nadal and Lin Miranda". The New York Times. September 10, 2010.
- Itzkoff, Dave (September 9, 2010). "‘Fiddler' Up His Sleeve: Lin-Manuel Miranda's Wedding Surprise". The New York Times.
- Staff."In the Heights Tony Winner Lin-Manuel Miranda Gets Engaged to His Longtime Leading Lady" According to Lin's personal YouTube channel, Lin and Vanessa are now married as of September 8, 2010. broadway.com
- "To Life: Vanessa's Wedding Surprise". Sweet Speeches. September 10, 2010.
- "L'Chaim" performance at Miranda wedding, YouTube
- Yeshiva University News webpage,"Commencement Speaker David Shatz Lauds YU Students for 'Historic" Innovations' ",Yeshiva University, May 14, 2009, Retrieved on 2010-09-10
- Dramatists Guild Will Honor Stein, Letts, Miranda, Lucas and More Nov. 18
- Website: http://linmanuel.com/
- Lin-Manuel Miranda at the Internet Broadway Database
- Lin-Manuel Miranda at the Internet Movie Database
- Interview with Quiara Alegría Hudes in Guernica, July 2012