Redefining what it means to be a theater nerd! Lin-Manuel Miranda often wore a disguise to sit in the Hamilton audience and watch celebrities’ reactions to his hit Broadway musical, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson revealed in a recent interview.
“Lin sat in disguise. That’s how much of a nerd and dweeb Lin is,” Thompson told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published Friday, December 2. “He kept tabs on everyone who watched — who got the jokes, who laughed the most, who didn’t get the jokes. Even one high-profile celebrity that was on their phone more than they were watching the whole play. I would never name that because that person is very close to me. I don’t want to air them out!”
Thompson, 45, is one of the producers on both the Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording and the newly released Hamilton Mixtape. In the interview, he explained that Miranda, 36, was detailed when reporting on the celebs he observed.
“For real, he was like, ‘This one yawned at this part. This one was sleepy but I forgave them because I knew they were on a long flight. This one gave it three standing ovations,’” Thompson recalled.
The Roots drummer also revealed that Miranda made it a point not to play his leading part as Hamilton whenever an extremely famous person was in the audience — say, for instance, President Obama.
“Whenever a high-profile celebrity would come, or someone of Obama’s caliber, Lin would not do Hamilton,” Thompson said. “So there’s a whole bunch of high-profile people, like the president, and Oprah [Winfrey], [where] Lin would rather watch them watch the show. Obama’s never seen Lin as Hamilton, which is crazy to me.”
Obama isn't the only politician to snag seats to the smash show. In November, Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended a performance of the hit musical with his family and was addressed directly by the cast at curtain call in a moment that made headlines around the world.
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