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Miranda explained that it was "more of a scene than a song, the only scene in the [sung-through] show", and he wanted to reserve the impact of "at least one revelation" that could be experienced more fully onstage. The Mixtape debuted in the number 1 spot on the Billboard The first release, on December 15, , was "Ben Franklin's Song" by The Decemberists , containing lyrics Miranda wrote during development of Hamilton for an unused song that was never set to music. Miranda had long imagined Benjamin Franklin singing in a "Decemberist-y way", and ultimately sent the lyrics to Colin Meloy , who set them to music. A fan of Yankovic since childhood, Miranda became friends with him after they tried to develop a musical together. About the origin of the song, Yankovic said, "Lin pitched it to me as a polka medley way more hesitantly than [he] should have. He was like, 'Would you want to do a polka medley? Miranda said it was "the most perfect 'Weird Al' creative problem solving possible. Miranda said the song was his way "of helping to raise funds and awareness for [the efforts of the students in Parkland, Florida ], and to say Thank You, and that we are with you so let's keep fighting, together. The song is the first draft written by Miranda of "Burn". Miranda described Eliza's portrayal in the first version of the song as "angrier" and "entirely reactive", while in the final version "she has agency", and explained that "it works as a song but not as a scene". Miranda credited Mike Elizondo , a producer who worked with the band, as having suggested the idea, which he immediately accepted. After finishing the first few chapters, Miranda began to envision the life of Hamilton as a musical, and researched whether a stage musical of Hamilton's life had been created. All he found was that a play of Hamilton's story had been done on Broadway in , starring George Arliss as Alexander Hamilton. Miranda therefore began a project entitled The Hamilton Mixtape. Instead, he performed the first song from The Hamilton Mixtape, a rough version of what would later become "Alexander Hamilton", Hamilton's opening number. He spent a year after that working on "My Shot", another early number from the show. The workshop consisted of the entirety of the first act of the show and three songs from the second act. The workshop was accompanied by Lacamoire on the piano. Miranda, Daveed Diggs , and Christopher Jackson. The tour was initially announced with over 20 stops, scheduled from through at least Just days after the first U. Cameron Mackintosh produced a London production which re-opened the Victoria Palace Theatre on December 21, , following previews from December 6. Initially, twenty-one front row seats and occasional standing room tickets were offered in each lottery. Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda began preparing and hosting outdoor mini-performances shortly before each daily drawing, allowing lottery participants to experience a part of the show even when they did not win tickets. The online theatrical journal HowlRound characterized Ham4Ham as an expression of Miranda's cultural background: The philosophy behind this is simple. If the people won't come to the theatre, then take the theatre to the people. While El Teatro Campesino 's 'taking it to the streets' originated from a place of social protest, Ham4Ham does so to create accessibility, tap into social media, and ultimately generate a free, self-functioning marketing campaign. The sense as well as the sound of the sung dialogue has been purposely suited to each character. George Washington, a stately figure in Jackson's dignified performance, sings in polished prose But in the end, Miranda's impassioned narrative of one man's story becomes the collective narrative of a nation, a nation built by immigrants who occasionally need to be reminded where they came from. In his review of the Off-Broadway production, Jesse Green in New York wrote, "The conflict between independence and interdependence is not just the show's subject but also its method: It brings the complexity of forming a union from disparate constituencies right to your ears Few are the theatergoers who will be familiar with all of Miranda's touchstones. I caught the verbal references to Rodgers and Hammerstein , Gilbert and Sullivan , Sondheim , West Side Story , and , but other people had to point out to me the frequent hat-tips to hip-hop Whether it's a watershed, a breakthrough, and a game changer, as some have been saying, is another matter. Miranda is too savvy and loves his antecedents too much to try to reinvent all the rules at once Those duels, by the way—there are three of them—are superbly handled, the highlights of a riveting if at times overbusy staging by the director Thomas Kail and the choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler. But Hamilton, directed by Thomas Kail and starring Mr. Miranda, might just about be worth it Washington, Jefferson, Madison—they're all here, making war and writing constitutions and debating points of economic structure. So are Aaron Burr and the Marquis de Lafayette. They wear the clothes by Paul Tazewell you might expect them to wear in a traditional costume drama, and the big stage they inhabit has been done up by David Korins to suggest a period-appropriate tavern, where incendiary youth might gather to drink, brawl and plot revolution. I love it like I love New York, or Broadway when it gets it right. And this is so right The work's human drama and novelistic density remain astonishing.
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