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Asian American Plays Lead Role in Hamilton


It’s a first for the hit musical Hamilton: an Asian American is playing the lead role.

Marc dela Cruz, who is of Filipino and Japanese descent, debuted as Alexander Hamilton in the Broadway production on Saturday, according to CNN Philippines. He joined the cast last year, having played multiple roles so far.

At the University of Washington, dela Cruz trained in dance and joined singing groups. He was cast in The Fantasticks with the Northwest Asian American Theater Company. He then joined the world premiere of Allegiance at San Diego and a national tour with Disney’s High School Musical. His tour with the musical If/Then was his Broadway debut.

“I am over the moon to be a part of Hamilton,” dela Cruz told The FilAm. “I’ve been a fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda since I saw In the Heights and I always wondered at the possibility of being in something he created.

“I had been listening to the cast recording for so long and had become such a fan of the music. Suddenly I’m finding out that I’m going to be singing it every night on Broadway—it all took a second to sink in. After getting off the phone with my manager I think I just sat in my living room for a long time in silence. I had been given such a gift and I immediately felt grateful. Then I told my parents and they freaked out!”

The musical has received universal acclaim since its debut, with music, lyrics, and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also played the lead role in the original production.

Many have also praised Hamilton for featuring a very diverse cast.

The play features various genres of music, including hip-hop and jazz, to tell the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton and the American Revolution. It has won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album, a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and 11 Tony Awards.

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