“I just love this island so much. And I just want it to be proud of me,” Miranda told reporters following the show’s Puerto Rico debut, CBS News reports. During the curtain call, an emotional Miranda draped himself with a Puerto Rican flag. “Today Puerto Rico gave me more energy than ever in my life in that moment. I have never felt anything like that,” he added.
Author Ron Chernow, whose biography of Alexander Hamilton inspired Miranda to pen the Tony-winning musical, was among those in attendance for opening night in Puerto Rico. “There was an extra passion and pain and sadness and beauty that he brought to his character,” Chernow said after the show (via Page Six). “This was no ordinary performance tonight.” Jimmy Fallon, Shonda Rhimes and Questlove also attended the Puerto Rico premiere, the New York Times reported ; on January 15th, Fallon’s Tonight Show will air from San Juan’s Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A. Ferré where Hamilton‘s residency is staged.
— Tamsen Fadal PIX11 (@TamsenFadal) January 12, 2019
Miranda estimated that the Puerto Rico residency will raise $15 million during the next three weeks for the Flamboyan Arts Fund, which the Miranda family started to aid arts organizations. Additionally, the Puerto Rico production offered, through a lottery, 10,000 tickets for $10 apiece for university students and working class families still struggling from the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
“People are going to come to Puerto Rico because of Hamilton and hopefully spend a lot of money here,” Miranda said Friday at a press conference, “But they’re also going to see blue tarps. They’re also going to see how much work is left to be done.”
Miranda added that President Donald Trump’s desire to fund a border wall when billions of dollars in disaster aid is still needed in Puerto Rico is “absolutely monstrous.”