Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Protegé Has Now Moved On
Hamilton isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. This mega-musical, which is still selling over $3 million in gross ticket sales every week, has proved that it is not particularly cast dependent. While the ensemble of incredibly talented performers is a crucial element of the show, the only major name to have emerged from Hamilton’s journey is the creator of the show himself, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the book, music, and lyrics for the show. Even Miranda, however, who first hit the scene with the 2008 Broadway production of his musical In the Heights, only became a household name through the success of his creation, Hamilton. Ever since the early workshop days of the show, Miranda had a counterpart understudying him in the lead role of Alexander Hamilton: Javier Muñoz. When Miranda needed to focus on the many other elements of his versatile leadership position, Muñoz was by his side, taking part in character work for the lead performance. When Miranda stepped down after a year on Broadway, during which time Muñoz continued to be his alternate, Muñoz finally got to step into the part full-time. From July 11, 2016, with a hiatus from February to March 21, 2017, and the on through to last week – January 14, 2018 – Muñoz continued to perform this part with gusto. However, as the musical will clearly be around for many more years, it was finally time for Muñoz to step down, and let another man take on the part.
Starting at the beginning of this week, from January 16, 2018, the part of Alexander Hamilton on Broadway has been played by Michael Luwoye, who will continue to perform the part for an indefinite period of time. Luwoye began his career as an alternate for the Broadway production for both Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr – at one point, he even played both parts on one day, for the matinee and evening performances, respectively – before going on to star as Hamilton in the touring production. Racking up positive reviews along the way, including, notably, in the Los Angeles extended run, Luwoye was a natural fit for the successor to Muñoz, who himself was the close successor to the creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. It is to this show’s credit that they grow their own talent from within, allowing Luwoye to step into the spotlight on Broadway, after having earned his dues on the touring circuit and as an alternate. Another production with a different ethos may have turned at this point to a famous movie star, but Hamilton knows its strengths: the core values of hard work and dedication that Luwoye embodies, as proven by his long devotion to this show, even on the less glamorous days.
Javier Muñoz on to New Adventures
While it was certainly bittersweet for Muñoz to step away from Hamilton, it’s time for this actor to find his next platform, and perhaps to build an even more recognizable name for himself outside of the shadow of Lin-Manuel Miranda. Next up, it has been announced that Muñoz will perform in the supernatural drama television show “Shadowhunters,” created by Ed Decter, which airs on Freeform network, loosely based off the book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. Since launching in January 2016, the show has earned its share of accolades, including a GLAAD Award and two Teen Choice Awards. Muñoz will take on the new role of Lorenzo Ray, a centuries-old magic-savvy man from Spain, who becomes the adversary to Harry Shum, Jr.’s character, Magnus. Muñoz, who is an out gay man, gets to play opposite Magnus, a bi warlock. This is not the only homosexual relationship explored on the show, so perhaps Muñoz has a romantic plotline in store for his character as well. Fans can view starting April 3, 2018 on Freeform.