The Broadway musical “Hamilton” gained an unprecedented 16 Tony Award nominations. It is the latest proof that the hip-hop infused play is here to stay.
USA Today reports the Lin-Manuel Miranda-led performance broke the previous record of 15 Tony submissions held by “Billy Elliot” and “The Producers.”
The musical, based on founding father Alexander Hamilton, was submitted for several technical categories. They include best scenic and costume design, lighting, choreography and orchestrations. It was also nominated for best musical and director.
Miranda scored nominations for best book of a musical, score and acting. Leslie Odom Jr. also got a nod for best actor in a leading role.
Three other actors from the show were submitted for featured actor. They are Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Groff and Christopher Jackson. Phillipa Soo was nominated for best lead actress. Renée Elise Goldsberry was submitted for featured actress, according to The Washington Post.
The play broke ground by featuring rap music. It also stands out by specifically hiring Black and other minority performers. A casting call specifying these demographics stirred controversy last month. Civil rights leaders claimed the play engaged in reverse racism by excluding white actors from auditioning. But audiences continue to line up to see the historical show.
Deadline reports “Hamilton” has earned $80 million in advance ticket sales and shows continue to sell out.
The play won a Pulitzer Prize for drama in April. Miranda said in a statement that “it is a tremendous honor to even be considered for this very prestigious award.” He added that the win “is beyond my wildest dreams.”
According to E! News, 36-year-old Miranda was inspired to create the musical after reading “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow one summer. The star told The Hollywood Reporter that he uses ethnically diverse actors to tell the stories of “old, dead white men.” He says it “makes the story more immediate and more accessible to a contemporary audience.”