‘Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda On Merchandising, Tours And Getting Out The Latino Vote

Jeremy Gerard/Deadline

UPDATE 4:15 PM with more from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s conversation this morning, including plans for merchandising his work, the Hamilton Mix-Tape all-star album, and the murders in Orlando.

In addition to the announcement about his replacement, Miranda discussed a wide range of topics, from the upcoming productions  in Chicago and London. Recalling the run-up to the show’s first performances at the Public Theater, Miranda said that a number of songs had been dropped, including one titled “Let It Go,” at around the same time a song with the same name was becoming a global hit from Frozen. Asked if there is a “trunk full of songs” cut from the show, Miranda replied, “It’s more like a satchel. There’s a trunk of songs

“This morning we launched TeeRico.com,” Miranda said. “I’m not selling Hamilton merch. Hamilton merch is Hamilton merch…But I sought out people who were making Hamilton art that I really liked…and said ‘Come work for me.’ “

from In The Heights.” Some of the 10 to 15 cut Hamilton songs, he added, will be heard on the Hamilton Mix Tape album, a new recording of the score covered by stars (he wouldn’t say which stars) to be released in the fall. “It’s right now a mix of covers and ‘inspired bys’ including ‘My Shot’ that will use the chorus from the show but new verses by a range of rappers, as well as a cover of ‘Satisfied’ that is going,” he promised, “to blow your [rhymes with clucking] minds.”

In another development, Miranda announced his involvement in merchandise being created around Hamilton. “I’m opening a merch line of Hamilton-inspired art,” he said, explaining that rather than shut down artists who were creating Tee-shirts and other paraphernalia, he would invite them into the fold. “I don’t want to stop artists from making things they love,” he said. “That doesn’t feel right to me. So I’m joining them. This morning we launched TeeRico.com.” “I’m not selling Hamilton merch,” he explained. “Hamilton merch is Hamilton merch.

“But I sought out people who were making Hamilton art that I really liked…and said ‘Come work for me.’ I’ve hired them to make tee Lin-inspired stuff, they share in the proceeds. It’s a totally family-owned business. My brother-in-law is running TeeRico. There’s Heights merch, stuff based on my Tweets, it’s really crazy…To quote Heights, it’s our ‘mom-and-pop Stop-&-Shop.’ ” Before the site gets fully underway, he said, it’s launching with one product only: A Tee-shirt imprinted with the sonnet he wrote and read at Sunday’s Tony Awards, which was a powerful and heartfelt acknowledgement of the murders in Orlando. The proceeds from the sale of that Tee-shirt are going entirely to Equality Cares, a Florida nonprofit that is co-ordinating help for the families of victims, and are being printed by a graphics company called Nightsweats & T-Cells that’s staffed by HIV positive people and uses U.S. made goods.

Asked about his involvement in the endless presidential race, Miranda said that he preferred to put his focus on issues where he feels he can have a direct impact.

“I understand that I have this weird megaphone right now,” he said, “and I also understand that it’s more powerful if I use it sparingly.” Making Puerto Rico “part of the conversation” is one project he and his wife are passionate about: “There’s no better way to do that than

 “I’m going to be trying to get out the Latino vote as hard as possible,” Miranda said. “It’s very clear that Latinos’ interests are bound up in voting this year, and I’ll leave it at that.”

to get on John Oliver’s show,” he noted, “because those videos are viral the next morning on your Facebook.” The legislation regarding bots — automated online ticket vacuums that were the subject of his recent New York Times Op-Ed column — is “being discussed today” in the New York State legislature. “In terms of the upcoming election,” Miranda said, “I’m going to be trying to get out the Latino vote as hard as possible. It’s very clear that Latinos interests ar bound up in voting this year, and I’ll leave it at that.”

EARLIER: Lin-Manuel Miranda this morning confirmed that Javier Muñoz, his alternate since the beginning of the journey Hamilton has taken from workshop to off-Broadway to Sunday’s 11-Tony Award wins including Best Musical, will take over the title role in the hit show beginning July 11. Miranda’s final performance will be July 9. Over breakfast at Coogan’s Restaurant in his Washington Heights neighborhood, Miranda said he didn’t know who else might be leaving the show, but he took special care to praise Muñoz as his partner in creating the role and for the quality of his performance (see the video below). “I can’t overstress it — we created the role together, in the rehearsal room, as I was writing. We would do every scene with me in the role, with him in the role, and that’s how we kicked the tires. It really took two people to make it work.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Javier Muñoz
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Javier Muñoz Jeremy Gerard/Deadline

Munõz, he said, “has performed for presidents and kings, and by kings I mean Jay-Z, and is the best-reviewed alternate in the history of Broadway, is taking over full-time. He’s certainly earned it.” (By presidents, Miranda was referring to President Barack Obama, who, when he brought his family to see the show, saw a regularly schedule preview performance with Muñoz that also, Miranda said, gave him his first opportunity to view the production himself.)

Miranda also discussed his future plans, which include completing work on two Disney projects — the animated feature Moana, for which he composed the music and is a voice on the soundtrack, and the upcoming sequel to Mary Poppins, in which he plays a lamplighter opposite Emily Blunt in the title role.

Miranda addressed the issue of the producers’ recent decision to raise the top ticket price for the show to an unprecedented $849 by saying the hike pays for another change: adding a second row of $10 lottery seats to each performance, boosting that number to 46. He compared that move to the groundlings of Shakespeare’s era, who sat down front between the wealthier patrons and the stage.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2016/06/lin-manuel-miranda-leaving-hamilton-javier-munoz-replacement-video-1201773921/