Lin-Manuel Miranda joins Hamilton audience in Brisbane
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda was as honoured to meet the team behind the hit children's TV series Bluey as the cast and crew of the Australian production of his award-winning stage musical were to finally meet him.
The Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Olivier and Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of Hamilton arrived in Brisbane on Saturday on a whirlwind visit to fulfil his promise to see the Australian production of his breakthrough musical about America's founding father Alexander Hamilton before it wraps on April 23.
"Pure kismet that they make Bluey here," Miranda, the voice of Bluey character Major Tom, told a media conference in Brisbane on Sunday.
"We've all had the Bluey moments when you feel a little guilty as a parent.
"They're hashtag goals, that family."
The father of two boys, Miranda - who travelled to Australia with his mother - visited the Bluey team at their Brisbane headquarters before meeting his Hamilton cast and crew backstage at QPAC.
"I think the way a lot of people feel about Hamilton during the pandemic, we felt about Bluey during the pandemic," he said.
Based on Ron Chernow's acclaimed biography and featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, Hamilton has turned a history lesson into an historic moment for musical theatre.
The show premiered on Broadway to critical and audience acclaim in August 2015 and opened its Australian run in Sydney in 2021.
"There was a moment during the global pandemic when Australia was the only company of Hamilton in production in the world and that was a real beacon of hope to our actors and other companies that theatre would come back and we would be able to one day hopefully put on the show again," Miranda said.
"But it was also harder to visit. You had a 14-day quarantine and you had to really commit a kind of time I didn't yet have.
"I made a promise to see the Australian company while it was still in Australia and they're leaving soon so I came as soon as I could."
The Australian cast -led by Jason Arrow as Alexander Hamilton, Martha Berhane as Eliza Hamilton and Callan Purcell as Aaron Burr - will travel to New Zealand when the Brisbane season ends.
So how do they hold up to international casts?
"They're right there on the level. I mean, they're so fantastic," Miranda said after joining the audience for Saturday night's performance.
Miranda cast the Australian production virtually in 2020 while he and his original Broadway stars were working on a filmed version for Disney+ in 2020.
"They were really stacking up against the originals in a very tangible way," he said.
"Every original cast is like a four-minute mile. Scientists proved you couldn't run the mile in under four minutes and then someone did it. And then suddenly everybody started, right?
"And I feel like original casts are like that - it's impossible to find that first cast ... and then it attracts the people who know they can do it."
Some 2000 fans selected by ballot attended a Q and A with Miranda, Arrow and Leigh Sales at QPAC on Sunday.
The event will be broadcast on the ABC at a later date.
Hamilton plays QPAC, in Brisbane, until April 23.