Less than a week after winning 11 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Hamilton is facing changes as its Tony-nominated company members announce their departures. The latest is Phillipa Soo, nominated for her performance as Eliza Schuyler, later wife to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton. A publicist for the Broadway-bound musical adaptation of Amelie, the French indie film that made a star of Audrey Tatou, said this afternoon that Soo will play the title role in the show. An earlier item in the New York Daily News said Soo will leave Hamilton on July 9, which Miranda said yesterday would be his final performance.
In announcing his departure to complete work on other projects, Miranda said he didn’t know who else might be leaving. Among the hit show’s key actors are Tony winners Leslie Odom Jr., who plays Aaron Burr; Daveed Diggs, who won for his dual roles as Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson; Renée Elise Goldsberry, who plays Eliza’s sister Angelica; and Tony nominee Chris Jackson, who plays George Washington. None of them has announced plans to leave or stay with the show.
Amelie, A New Musical had its world premiere last fall at California’s Berkeley Rep. Plans are for it to begin a pre-Broadway run in L.A in December before opening next spring in New York. It’s staged by Pam MacKinnon (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) with book by Craig Lucas (An American In Paris) and score by Daniel Messe and Nathan Tysen. The producer is Aaron Harnick (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me).
Although there can be some hard feelings among customers when stars leave hit shows soon after winning Tonys, the Hamilton company has been together longer than most. Soo, the Juilliard grad who already had won acclaim for her leading role in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, joined the production during its second workshop and has been with the show since its sold-out run at the Public Theater and the start of its Broadway run last July. And no one can complain about Miranda’s replacement, Javier Muñoz, who has played the title role as Miranda’s alternate from the very beginning and went on when the Obamas came to see the show early in its Broadway previews. Miranda called him “the best-reviewed alternate in the history of Broadway.”
A spokesman for Hamilton said there would be no comment.