Lin-Manuel Miranda was in town Thursday, but it appears unlikely he’s here mulling the stage musical possibilities of Chicago’s rich political figureheads, from Richard M. Daley to Rod Blagojevich to Michael Madigan.
“I’ll give you a scoop: I don’t think I’m writing another history musical ever f – – – – – g again. You think I can top this?” said Miranda, visiting to promote the return of his worldwide smash and the aforementioned untoppable “Hamilton.”
The show, which ended a three-year run here in January 2020, opened Thursday night at the James M. Nederlander Theatre.
“I get pitched every historical era, but for me, the lesson of Sondheim, the lesson of Kander and Ebb, the lesson of Andrew Lloyd Webber is the next thing has to be totally different from the last thing. So that’s what I’m working on right now,” Miranda said.
He did not elaborate further on his new project.
Miranda had the title role in the original Broadway production. But, though he’s no longer in the show, he said he still regularly “checks in” on productions.
“There’s something about it that continues to resonate with folks. Part of it is, in telling Hamilton’s story, you kind of tell a version of the origin story of our country. … Different things will hit differently depending on where we are as a country, but it speaks to the stuff we deal with every day,” he said.
Eight years after the musical debuted, Miranda said he still hears from people who’ve seen the show and been deeply affected by what they’ve seen. (The film version of the musical was released in 2020 via streaming on Disney+.)
“It shocks me every day, whether it’s a parent who writes a letter that their kid was having speech delays, but the sheer verbiage of ‘Hamilton’ made them want to memorize that soundtrack and it helped them through a tough spot,” he said.
He’s even heard from parents who’ve lost a child about the “Hamilton” number “It’s Quiet Uptown,” played as the title character mourns the death of his son.
“[It] was a song that spoke to that moment of grief for them,” Miranda said.