Lin-Manuel Miranda has pledged to return to the role of Alexander Hamilton in the Chicago production of Hamilton for one special performance following the release of Oscar Lopez Rivera, the Puerto Rican nationalist whose prison sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama Thursday.
In a series of tweets that followed the news of Lopez Rivera’s impending release on May 17th, Miranda promised that he would reprise the Hamilton role if and when Lopez Rivera decides to attend the Chicago production.
“Sobbing with gratitude here in London. OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA IS COMING HOME. THANK YOU, @POTUS,” Miranda tweeted Thursday. “I wish I was with every Puerto Rican in Chicago right now.”
In a tweet to New York City Council member Melissa Mark-Viverito, who has been in communication with Lopez Rivera, the Tony-winning star relayed the message, “I’ve got a show for [Lopez Rivera] in Chicago. It’ll be my honor to play Hamilton the night he goes.”
Mark-Viverito responded, “Claro @Lin_Manuel! (Without) a doubt! Told him you would invite him to Hamilton. But no idea you would perform! What a treat! But he deserves it!”
Miranda last performed as Hamilton on Broadway in July 2016. The Chicago production opened in October with Miguel Cervantes in the title role.
The 74-year-old Lopez Rivera, who moved to Chicago as a teenager, was a member of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña (FALN), an organization that advocated for complete independence for Puerto Rico.
After a series of bombings throughout the late Seventies and early Eighties, Lopez Rivera was convicted of seditious conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government as well as other felonies in 1981 and sentenced to 55 years in prison, a harsh sentence considering Lopez Rivera was never tied to any specific bombing. A failed prison escape attempt in 1988 tacked another 15 years to that sentence.
In 1999, President Bill Clinton offered clemency to members of the FALN on the condition they renounce the use of terrorism. Lopez Rivera was one of two FALN members who declined the offer.