For many fans of the original cast recording of Hamilton, the Grammys on Monday provided their only realistic chance of catching a glimpse of the sold-out-forever show this year. Stephen Colbert, who introduced the cast’s televised performance from the Richard Rodgers Theatre, quipped that he wasn’t sure he would be able to get a ticket for the special Grammy performance: “The soonest one I could get online was a Sunday matinee in 2018.”
The cast presented the show’s opener, “Alexander Hamilton”—a great choice both because it serves as a mini-biography of Hamilton’s early life and because it gives solos to all of the musical’s principal actors. The performance was a little bumpy—the tempo started out sluggish but later seemed to run away from the singers, and the enthusiastic audience interrupted the number’s flow when the show’s composer and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, appeared onstage—but it was still a worthy introduction to a great show which surely turned many Grammy viewers into future Faniltons.
The real tour de force came shortly after the live performance: After Hamilton won the award for Best Musical Theater Album, Miranda delivered an electrifying acceptance rap:
This is not the first time Miranda has rapped an acceptance speech. Let’s hope he has plenty more original verses lined up for the Tony Awards in June.