Alexander Hamilton is going to have a new face. Lin-Manuel Miranda officially announced that he’ll leave the Broadway hit “Hamilton,” which he also wrote, on July 9. Taking his place will be Javier Muñoz, Miranda’s understudy. Since the Tony Award-winning show is nearly impossible to get tickets to, it’s safe to say thousands of fans will be seeing the actor in the coming months. They might want to know a few things about the 40-year-old before they go.
1. Rave Reviews — Due to the phenomenon of “Hamilton,” the New York Times gave a second review for the show when Muñoz was playing the role, as he typically does Sundays. “In other words, should you be able to get seats for “Hamilton” only on a Sunday, you will not lose out. … More important, it is now clear that this production is not cripplingly dependent on the charisma of a single star,” critic Ben Brantley wrote.
2. New York Native — In “Hamilton,” New York City is referred to as “the greatest city in the world,” and it probably isn’t difficult for Muñoz to share that sentiment. His family is from Brooklyn.
3. He Was There From The Beginning — Not only has Muñoz been Miranda’s understudy during the show’s Broadway and Off-Broadway runs, he was involved in the development of the musical.
“There was no Act I or Act II. It was still called ‘Hamilton Mixtape,’” Muñoz told Vulture in November. “And it was just an idea brewing. But from that first rehearsal, I can definitely recall hearing the music for the first time and thinking, ‘I don’t know what this is gonna be; but damn it, it’s just so good.’ And it only got better. We did workshop after workshop after workshop. I believe I was part of just about every single one up until last year.”
4. Cancer — Last fall, Muñoz had to step away from “Hamilton” to take care of his health after he learned he had cancer (he did not specify what kind). “I was diagnosed in October,” Muñoz told the New York Post. “I spent about six weeks not wanting to think about it, face it, deal with it. … I had never felt fear before like this in my life.” The actor recovered and was given a clean bill of health.
5. Jay-Z and Beyoncé Saw Him — If he’s good enough for Jay and Bey, he’s more than good enough for the rest of the “Hamilton” audiences.
3) I'm so thrilled for @JMunozActor. We created the role together. I'm still jealous he got to perform for Jay-Z & Beyonce.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) June 16, 2016
6. Starting Date — Fans can currently attend “Hamilton” on Sundays to see Muñoz as Hamilton. He’ll be on throughout the week starting July 11.
Those who still want to see Miranda and the original cast are in luck, though. They will film a performance before he leaves, USA Today reports. The air date is still unknown, though.