Lin-Manuel Miranda

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Lin-Manuel Miranda
Miranda 2015 hi-res-download 2 (cropped).jpg
Miranda in September 2015
Born (1980-01-16) January 16, 1980 (age 36)
New York City, New York, United States
Occupation Actor, composer, rapper, writer
Spouse(s) Vanessa Nadal (m. 2010)
Children 1, Sebastian

Lin-Manuel Miranda (born January 16, 1980) is an American composer, lyricist, librettist, rapper, and actor, best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton.

Miranda wrote the music and lyrics for the musical In the Heights, which opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in March 2008. Miranda's written work for the show earned him numerous accolades, including the 2008 Tony Award for Best Original Score[1] and the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.[2] Further, Miranda's performance in the show's lead role of Usnavi earned him a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

Miranda is currently performing on Broadway in the lead role of Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton, a new musical for which he wrote the book, music and lyrics. Miranda is also a 2015 recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Award.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Miranda was born in Manhattan, New York City, and grew up in the neighborhood of Inwood. He is of Puerto Rican descent.[5] His father is a former political advisor, who advised Ed Koch. Growing up, Lin helped create jingles, including one used for Eliot Spitzer's 2006 campaign.

After graduating from Hunter College High School, Miranda went on to attend Wesleyan University[5][6] and graduated in 2002. During his time there, 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."[5] It played from April 20-April 22, 1999. He wrote and directed several other musicals at Wesleyan. He also acted in many other productions, ranging from musicals to Shakespeare. In 2015, he received an honorary doctorate from Wesleyan.[7]

2000 to 2010; In the Heights[edit]

In 2002, Miranda and John Buffalo Mailer worked with director Thomas 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 success off-Broadway, the musical went to Broadway in 2008.[5] It won the Tony Award for Best Musical and for Best Original Score[1] and the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.[2] Miranda's performance earned him a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Miranda made his last performance in the Broadway show on February 15, 2009.[8]

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.[9][10] The tour continued without him at the helm until it played in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he played Usnavi.[citation needed] 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.[11]

External video
Miranda 2015 hi-res-download 3.jpg
Playwright, Composer, and Performer Lin-Manuel Miranda, 2015 MacArthur Fellow, MacArthur Foundation[12]
Lin-Manuel Miranda Performs at the White House Poetry Jam, White House[13]

Miranda wrote, directed, and acted in an independent film, Clayton's Friends (1996). In 2007, he made a guest appearance on the television series The Sopranos in the episode "Remember When."[14] 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.[15] In 2008, he 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.[16]

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.[17][18] 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.[19]

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.[20]

2010 to present; Hamilton[edit]

Miranda co-wrote the music and lyrics for Bring It On: The Musical with Tom Kitt and Amanda Green. Bring It On premiered at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia in January 2011. The cast included Amanda LaVergne as Campbell, Adrienne Warren as Danielle, Nick Blaemire as Randall, Ryann Redmond as Bridget, and "award-winning competitive cheerleaders from across the country". The musical opened on October 30, 2011 at the Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, California at the start of a US National tour.[21][22] After its national tour, the show played a limited engagement on Broadway at the St. James Theatre, beginning previews on July 12, 2012, and officially opening on August 1, 2012. It closed on December 30th, 2012. It was nominated for Tony Awards in the categories of Best Musical and Best Choreography.[23]

In 2011, Miranda appeared as a guest on the TV series Modern Family in the episode "Good Cop Bad Dog".[citation needed] He appeared as Charley in an Encores! staged concert of Merrily We Roll Along at the New York City Center in February 2012. Later that year, he appeared in a small role in The Odd Life of Timothy Green as Reggie[citation needed] and played a recurring role on the 2013 NBC drama Do No Harm.[24]

In 2013, Miranda appeared in the episode "Bedtime Stories" (Season 9, Episode 11) on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother.[citation needed] In 2014, he performed with The Skivvies, an indie-rock comedy duo consisting of Nick Cearley and Lauren Molina[25] and participated in the live show of This American Life held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on June 7, 2014. For that show, Miranda wrote the music and lyrics for 21 Chump Street: The Musical, a production based on an earlier piece of journalism from TAL by reporter Robbie Brown.[26] Also in 2014, Miranda appeared in the revival of Tick, Tick... Boom! as part of the Encores! Off-Center series under the artistic direction of Jeanine Tesori. The show was directed by Oliver Butler.[27]

Miranda has been engaged to write songs for Walt Disney Animation Studios' 56th feature, Moana.[28]

In 2009, Miranda read Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton and, inspired by the book, wrote a rap about Hamilton for the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word on May 12, 2009, accompanied by Alex Lacamoire.[29][30] By 2012, Miranda was performing an extended set of pieces based on the life of Hamilton, referred to as the Hamilton Mixtape; the New York Times called it "an obvious game changer".[31] In 2015, Chernow and Miranda received the 2015 History Makers Award by the New York Historical Society for their work in creating Hamilton.[32]

Hamilton, a musical based on the Hamilton Mixtape, premiered Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in January 2015, directed by Thomas Kail. Miranda wrote the book and score and stars as the title character.[33][34] The show received highly positive reviews,[35] and its engagement was sold out.[36] It began previews on Broadway in July 2015 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre and officially opened on August 6, 2015,[37] earning rave reviews.[38] On the first night of Hamilton previews over 700 people lined up for lottery tickets.[39]

Lin-Manuel Miranda also contributed music for the film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the invitation of director J. J. Abrams, specifically writing a song for the scene in Maz Kanata's Cantina, a homage to the classic Mos Eisley Cantina scene and song after legendary Star Wars composer John Williams declined to write a new cantina song, wishing to instead focus on the film's orchestral score.

On January 24, 2016 Miranda performed the role of Loud Hailer in the Broadway production of Les Misérables, fulfilling his childhood dream of being in the show, as it was the first production he ever saw on Broadway.

Personal life[edit]

Miranda married Vanessa Nadal, a high school friend, in 2010. 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 engagement party, presented a group rendition of the Fiddler on the Roof song "To Life".[40] The video was posted on YouTube, where it has been viewed more than four million times.[41]

Miranda received an honorary degree from Yeshiva University, along with his lifetime friend Johannah Ward, during its May 14, 2009 graduation ceremony. He is the youngest person to receive an honorary degree from Yeshiva University.[42] 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.[citation needed]

Miranda and Nadal's son Sebastian was born on November 10, 2014. According to an interview with Maximum Fun podcast Can I Pet Your Dog?, Miranda has a dog named "Tobi" or "Tobillo" from the Dominican Republic.[43][44]

Broadway credits[edit]



Other theatre credits[edit]





Film credits[edit]





  • Clayton's Friends, 1996


  • Clayton's Friends, 1996

Television credits[edit]



Year Award Category Work Result
2007 Theatre World Award Outstanding Debut Performance In the Heights Won
Clarence Derwent Award Most Promising Male Performer Won
Obie Award Music and Lyrics Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Ensemble Performance Won
Outstanding Lyrics Nominated
Outstanding Music Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Musical Won
Lucille Lortel Award Outstanding Musical Won Audience Award Favorite Off-Broadway Musical Won
2008 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Nominated
Best Musical Won
Best Original Score Won
Dramatists Guild of America Frederick Loewe Award[46] Won
2009 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Won
Pulitzer Prize Drama Nominated
2013 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Lyrics Bring It On the Musical Nominated
Tony Award Best Musical Nominated
2014 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Original Song ("Rhymes With Mando") Sesame Street Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics (shared with Tom Kitt) 67th Tony Awards Won
2015 Lucille Lortel Awards[47] Outstanding Musical Hamilton Won
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical Won
Outer Critics Circle Awards[48] Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical Won
Taylor Fox's Heart Award Won
Outstanding New Score Won
Drama League Awards[49] Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical Nominated
Distinguished Performance Nominated
Drama Desk Awards[50] Outstanding Musical Won
Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
Outstanding Music Won
Outstanding Lyrics Won
Outstanding Book of a Musical Won
New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards[51] Best Musical Won
Off Broadway Alliance Awards[52] Best New Musical Won
Obie Awards[53] Best New American Theatre Work Won
Edgerton Foundation New American Play Awards[54] Won
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation[4][55] The MacArthur Fellowship Won
Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Hamilton Pending

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2007-2008 Tony Nominations Announced; In the Heights Earns 13 Noms". Retrieved 2015-10-01. 
  2. ^ a b "2009 Grammy Awards - Complete Winners and Nominees". Retrieved 2015-10-01. 
  3. ^ "List: MacArthur Foundation 'genius grant' recipients, 2015". San Diego Mercury News. Associated Press. 29 September 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Carpenter, John. "3 Chicagoans among class of MacArthur 'genuises'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Lin-Manuel Miranda: Scaling the Heights". Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Megan, Kathleen (2015-05-24). "Broadway Composer Energizes Wesleyan Grads With Hip-Hop, Wit". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2015-09-29. 
  8. ^ Playbill News: Lin-Manuel Miranda to Leave In the Heights in February
  9. ^ Ng, David. Lin-Manuel Miranda returning to 'In the Heights' at Pantages Theater, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2010.
  10. ^ Lin-Manuel and In The Heights Say Bye-Bye to Los Angeles,
  11. ^ In the Heights to Close on Broadway in January; Miranda to Return to Cast,, October 27, 2010, accessed July 11, 2015
  12. ^ "Lin-Manuel Miranda". MacArthur Foundation. September 28, 2015. Retrieved September 29, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Lin-Manuel Miranda Performs at the White House Poetry Jam". White House. May 12, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2016. 
  14. ^ Lin-Manuel Miranda at
  15. ^ Lin-Manuel Miranda profile,; accessed July 11, 2015.
  16. ^ Jones, Kenneth. Working, with Two New Songs by Heights Writer Miranda, Opens in FL May 16, Playbill, May 16, 2008.
  17. ^ Cohen, Patricia. "Same City, New Story",, March 15, 2009; accessed July 11, 2015.
  18. ^ This Could Drive a Person Crazy
  19. ^ Hardly Working: Rap Battle,; accessed July 11, 2015.
  20. ^ Profile,; accessed July 11, 2015.
  21. ^ "Stage Tube: Highlights from 'Bring It On: The Musical' Day!", October 28, 2011
  22. ^ "'Bring It On: The Musical' Listing",; accessed July 11, 2015.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Lin-Manuel Miranda To Recur On NBC Drama Series 'Do No Harm'", September 12, 2012
  25. ^
  26. ^ This American Life, recorded June 7, 2014, aired on June 20, 2014.
  27. ^ Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo to star in Tick, Tick... Boom!,; accessed July 11, 2015.
  28. ^ "The Rock makes surprise appearance for Disney's 'Moana': 'This is my heritage'". Entertainment Weekly. 2015-08-14. Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  29. ^ Lin-Manuel Miranda Performs at the White House Poetry Jam: 8 of 8,; accessed July 11, 2015.
  30. ^ Mead, Rebecca (2015-02-09). "A Hip-Hop Interpretation of the Founding Fathers". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2015-09-25. 
  31. ^ Holden, Stephen (2012-01-12). "‘Hamilton Mixtape,’ by Lin-Manuel Miranda, at Allen Room". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-09-25. 
  32. ^ "Ron Chernow and Lin-Manuel Miranda to Be Honored by New-York Historical Society". Theater Mania. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  33. ^ Hamilton profile,, March 6, 2014
  34. ^ "Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Hamilton' Starts Previews Off-Broadway",; retrieved January 22, 2015.
  35. ^ Stasio, Marilyn. "Off Broadway Review: 'Hamilton' by Lin-Manuel Miranda" Variety, February 17, 2015
  36. ^ Gioia, Michael. "History in the Making – Revolutionary Musical 'Hamilton' Opens on Broadway Tonight", Playbill, August 6, 2015
  37. ^ "Revolutionaries, Turn Up! Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Hamilton' Will Head To Broadway This Summer",, February 24, 2015.
  38. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Review: Hamilton, Young Rebels Changing History and Theater", The New York Times, August 6, 2015
  39. ^ "Hundreds Mob the First 'Hamilton' Lottery" Playbill
  40. ^ "To Life: Vanessa's Wedding Surprise". Sweet Speeches. September 10, 2010. 
  41. ^ "L'Chaim" performance at Miranda wedding, YouTube
  42. ^ Yeshiva University News webpage,"Commencement Speaker David Shatz Lauds YU Students for 'Historic" Innovations'", Yeshiva University, May 14, 2009; retrieved 2010-09-10.
  43. ^ Travis McElroy (29 July 2015). "Ep. 1: Tindog and Lin-Manuel Miranda". Maximum Fun. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  44. ^ Megh Wright (30 July 2015). "This Week in Comedy Podcasts: The Debut of 'Can I Pet Your Dog?' - Splitsider". The Awl. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  45. ^
  46. ^ Dramatists Guild Will Honor Stein, Letts, Miranda, Lucas and More Nov. 18
  47. ^ Playbill Staff (April 2, 2015). "Hamilton, The Nether, Into the Woods Earn Lortel Award Nominations". Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  48. ^ Gans, Andrew; Viagas, Robert (April 20, 2015). "Outer Critics Circle Nominees Announced; Something Rotten! Leads the Pack". Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  49. ^ Gans, Andrew (April 21, 2015). "2015 Drama League Awards Nominations Announced; More Than 45 Will Vie for Distinguished Performance Honor". Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  50. ^ Gans, Andrew (April 23, 2015). "Drama Desk Nominations Announced; Hamilton Tops the List". Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  51. ^ Hetrick, Adam (May 4, 2015). "Hamilton and Between Riverside and Crazy Win 2015 New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards". Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  52. ^ BWW News Desk (May 6, 2015). "Off Broadway Alliance Awards Nominations Announced - HAMILTON, INTO THE WOODS, CLINTON, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE & CRAZY & More...". Retrieved May 6, 2015. 
  53. ^ BWW News Desk (May 18, 2015). "HAMILTON, Darko Tresnjak, Ayad Akhtar & More Win 2015 Obie Awards - Full List!". Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  54. ^ BWW News Desk (February 13, 2015). "THE OLDEST BOY, BRIGHT STAR, POCATELLO, HAMILTON and More Among 2015 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award Winners". Retrieved July 4, 2015. 
  55. ^ "List: MacArthur Foundation 'genius grant' recipients, 2015". San Diego Mercury News. Associated Press. 29 September 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 

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