Lin-Manuel Miranda will say his ‘name is Alexander Hamilton’ for the last time on July 9, and his current understudy, Javier Muñoz, will be stepping into the role full time. Here’s everything you need to know about Javier!
Lin-Manuel Miranda, 36, is stepping down so he can run for President. (Just kidding, but he is leaving Hamilton: An American Musical in July.) While we’re bummed that L-MM has to say goodbye, Javier Muñoz will take over the part of Alexander Hamilton, and we can barely…wait for it!
If you only dabble in the Ham-phenomenon, then you may not know anything about Javier. Well, the world’s going to know his name pretty soon — learn all about him here!
1. Javier has replaced Lin before in a musical besides Hamilton.
Yep, Javier took over for Lin as Usnavi in In the Heights, which also earned a handful of Tony Awards. As with Hamilton, Lin left In the Heights before it closed (he’s busy!). Javier continued in the role in the national tour, and received a Drama Desk award for his performance in the ensemble.
"How lucky we are to be alive right now." #Hamilton is one of the many reasons why New York theater is, improbably, thriving. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s rainbow history lesson is the only real-world megahit that has felt like genuine theatrical art since 'A Chorus Line' and, before that, the last golden age. Partly, that’s owed to the music, which bridges Broadway tradition and hip-hop; the cast album outsold most pop this year. Its defiantly unorthodox casting also makes it politically potent, creating a new generation of theater fans (many of whom could never have been dragged to a Broadway show before) and the stars to go with them. Read more about the revival of theater at the link in our bio. 📷: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Javier Muñoz by @normanjeanroy.
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2. Critics already love him as Alexander Hamilton.
As the New York Times put it, “Alexander Hamilton is sexy on Sundays [when Javier performs]…It takes a little longer to warm to Mr. Muñoz’s more aggressive and angular Hamilton, who wields his ambition like a sword. But this interpretation does not upset the balance of a revolutionary show about a revolutionary era that seems better every time [one sees] it.”
3. Javier is currently battling cancer.
In March 2016, Javier revealed that he was diagnosed last fall, and has since gone through surgery, radiation and physical therapy. He took time off from performing in Hamilton, and returned to the show in Feb. after returning to health. Both of his parents are cancer survivors, too.
4. His favorite Ham4Ham is “The Schuyler Sisters” performed by Jonathan Groff, Bryan d’Arcy James and Andrew Rannells.
“Nothing beats “The Schuyler Sisters” performed by our three kings. That was pretty incredible,” he told Vulture. Same, Javier. Same.
5. He’s been involved with the show since it was still called the Hamilton Mixtape.
Back in the day, Hamilton was referred to as Hamilton Mixtape, and it wasn’t separated into acts yet. “From that first rehearsal, I can definitely recall hearing the music for the first time and thinking, ‘I don’t know what this is gonna be, but damn it, it’s just so good,'” Javier told Vulture. “I got an email from my agents…all of the lights went off inside of me. ‘Oh my God, are we doing this again? Is this Lin and me going in on a character again? Is this In the Heights again?’ And I got very excited about the prospect of that.” We bet!
HollywoodLifers, are you excited that Javier is taking over the role of Alexander Hamilton? Tell us what you think of Lin’s replacement!