Obamas Host "Hamilton" Cast at White House
First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the cast of the award-winning Broadway musical “Hamilton” as well as students from three high schools Monday for a theater workshop in the White House.
Mrs. Obama is a big fan of the production, having seen it off-Broadway before encouraging her husband and daughters to see it when it did reach the Broadway stage.
“And it was simply, as I tell everybody, the best piece of art in any form that I have ever seen in my life,” the first lady told the students.
The workshop preceded a White House performance of the show, which has reached cult status, that evening.
In President Obama’s early days at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the couple hosted a poetry slam in an effort to showcase different art forms at their residence. They invited actor/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who blew them away with his performance of a song titled “Alexander Hamilton.” Miranda informed them that he was going to write an entire musical based on the Founding Father, which he now stars in.
The cast of “Hamilton” walked away with the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album last month. Before their performance Monday evening, the president noted that “Hamilton” was probably the only thing he and former Vice President Dick Cheney agreed on.
“Obviously since that time ‘Hamilton’ has become the phenomenon, the smash hit, taking Broadway by storm, captivating the entire country, winning tons of awards, turned musical haters into die-hard fans,” the president said. “It has become a favorite in the Obama household.”
With a cast as diverse as America, the show uses rap music as a “language of revolution,” with each song highlighting issues that affected the country then and that continue to do so now.
“Lin-Manuel and his incredible cast and crew bring to life a man who is just like this country: young, scrappy and hungry,” Obama said. “We recognize the improbable story of America and the spirit that has sustained our nation.”
Most importantly, the producers have worked to reach all audiences, offering reduced-price tickets and adding performances, the first lady said. They are helping more than 20,000 New York City students see the musical and have created curriculum so students can understand the story’s deeper meaning.
“I’m just thrilled that Lin-Manuel and the cast and crew of ‘Hamilton’ have committed themselves to bringing this show and its lessons to as many young people as possible,” she said. “I am just as proud of them for that kind of work as I am for their talent.”