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‘Hamilton’ heads to Puerto Rico with Lin-Manuel Miranda

Tribune-Review
| Friday, January 11, 2019 2:15 p.m
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Joan Marcus
Austin Scott, center, is Alexander Hamilton in the national tour of 'Hamilton' on stage at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh Jan. 1-27.

Even as the “Hamilton” craze continues in Pittsburgh, it’s time for the acclaimed musical to open its much anticipated run in Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Rico version has something Pittsburghers didn’t get to see: it stars “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who returns to the title role after more than two years.

The musical about Hamilton, a Caribbean immigrant, arrives more than a year after Hurricane Maria ravaged the U.S. territory. Miranda, whose parents are Puerto Rican, has said he wanted to help the island as it recovers from the devastating storm.

Proceeds from the Puerto Rico production will go to arts programs on the island.

“Our goal is to raise as much as we can for the arts, artists and arts organizations still recovering from Hurricane Maria. That’s the plan,” Miranda said recently on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Miranda told CBS he’s ready for the challenge of reprising the role. The Broadway production took home 11 Tonys in 2016.

“It’s like riding a bike in New York traffic,” Miranda told CBS This Morning. “I know the route. I don’t know if someone’s going to open a cab door on me. But I do know the way home.”

Many on the island are excited for the show’s opening at a time when Puerto Rico has been plagued by bad news. The New York Times this week selected Puerto Rico as the “No. 1 on our places to go list.”

The “Hamilton” production in Puerto Rico is expected to run through Jan. 27, with 23 shows. The Pittsburgh production, which began Jan. 1 in front of sold-out crowds at the Benedum Center, also runs through 27. Among its cast members is Sewickley native Peter Matthew Smith.