After giving a White House performance with his cast-mates as a guest of President Barack Obama and First Lady MichelleObama, then indulging in some rap freestyling with the president (click here for videos), HAMILTON’s author/star Lin-Manuel Miranda capped off his visit to Washington D.C. today with the important business of a Capitol Hill press conference, where he urged congress to pass legislation restructuring Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt.
“If your kids are running around rattling off facts about The Federalist Papers, I’m sorry. That’s my fault,” he joked to reporters and lawmakers in attendance.
Puerto Rico’s economic fortunes were severely hampered in 1996 when congress ended tax laws that aided the U.S. territory’s economic development, resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs.
Miranda, born and raised in New York by parents who came from Puerto Rico, spent his childhood summers at the island’s little town of Vega Alta, where his grandfather was a bank manager and his grandmother ran a travel agency. He says, like many Puerto Rican communities, that once-thriving town is in an economic crisis.
“Vega Alta is a dying town. The only people who live there now are the people who can’t afford to leave.
“We face a financial crisis that triples anything you’re experiencing here in the United States,” he insists, “and it’s a solvable, fixable crisis.”
Joined by sympathetic Senators such as New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Miranda urged for legislation that can help Puerto Rico rebuild, saying he would be willing to help in any way he can.
“If HAMILTON tickets will help, I’m happy to do that, too,” he added for a bit of levity. “I know a guy!”
Good news – Hamilton’s digital lottery is officially back for the winter, meaning that fans can enter online daily for a chance to see one of Broadway’s biggest hits. Better news – this means that digital #Ham4Ham is back, featuring surprise performances from the cast. Enter in the digital lottery at www.hamiltonbroadway.com/lottery.
The cast of Hamilton is comprised of Lin-Manuel Miranda (Alexander Hamilton), Daveed Diggs(Marquis De Lafayette,Thomas Jefferson), Renée Elise Goldsberry (Angelica Schuyler),Christopher Jackson (George Washington), Jonathan Groff (King George), Jasmine Cephas Jones (Peggy Schuyler, Maria Reynolds), Javier Muñoz (Hamilton alternate), Okieriete Onaodowan (Hercules Mulligan, James Madison), Leslie Odom, Jr. (Aaron Burr), Anthony Ramos (John Laurens, Philip Hamilton) and Phillipa Soo (Eliza Hamilton).
From bastard orphan to Washington’s right hand man, rebel to war hero, loving husband caught in the country’s first sex scandal to Treasury head who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy, Hamilton is an exploration of a political mastermind. George Washington,Thomas Jefferson, Eliza Hamilton, and lifelongHamiltonfriend and foe, Aaron Burr, all attend this revolutionary tale of America’s fiery past told through the sounds of the ever-changing nation we’ve become. Tony Award nominee Thomas Kail directs this new musical about taking your shot, speaking your mind, and turning the world upside down.