Did you know that Lin-Manuel Miranda would often disguise himself in the Hamilton audience to watch the audience watch the show? Creepy but super geeky!
So there are two things you might not yet know about Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda. One, that he would not do Hamilton if a VIP was in the audience; and two, that he has a habit of sitting in the audience to watch the audience watch Hamilton. Yes, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, The Roots drummer and producer for both the Hamilton Mixtape and Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording, tells Entertainment Weekly in a telephone conversation that Lin-Manuel Miranda is just a huge nerd like that.
Apparently, Lin-Manuel has a huge reason why he would often sit out his part as Hamilton if a super VIP would come and watch Hamilton—super VIPs meaning President Barrack Obama, Oprah, and the like. So that means Obama has never seen Lin-Manuel as Hamilton, expect for that one time when he performed a song at the White House.
“Whenever a high-profile celebrity would come, or someone of Obama’s caliber, Lin would not do Hamilton. So there’s a whole bunch of high-profile people like the President, and Oprah, [where] Lin would rather watch them watch the show. Obama’s never seen Lin as Hamilton, which is crazy to me.
“I’m like, ‘Yo. Are you trying to tell me that every time somebody important was in the audience, you had your stand-in do it?’ He’s like, ‘Yep. Exactly.’”
If you were in Lin-Manuel’s shoes, wouldn’t you rather go on stage as Hamilton during these super VIP performances? Well, no one can ever fit in Lin-Manuel’s shoes so who knows!
But apparently, there is a reason why he does this. Lin-Manuel would rather watch these high-profile audience watch Hamilton, and take note of how much they’re enjoying or not enjoying the show. How ultra geeky is that!
Thompson explained that “Lin sat in disguise. That’s how much of a nerd and dweeb Lin is. He kept tabs on everyone who watched – who got the jokes, who laughed the most, who didn’t get the jokes.”
“Even the 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!
“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.’”
If Hamilton‘s regular Ham4Ham performances (Ham4Ham are 30-minute performances before the show starts where Hamilton cast and friends perform special skits and acts for an audience and a Hamilton ticket lottery follows) weren’t enough proof how Lin-Manuel is committed to his fans and audience, then his sneaky audience disguises could be.
Well Mike Pence’s controversial attendance at a Hamilton show came when Lin-Manuel has officially hung his coat for the Hamilton role and Javier Muñoz has already taken the role, so there could be a possibility Lin was also sitting in that audience watching Pence.
But if you wanted to know which celebrity texted throughout Hamilton, People revealed in April last year that Lin-Manuel could have sit out a show (in a stake out, again, more likely) when Madonna sat in the audience.
One April Saturday, People reported, Lin-Manuel tweeted that one celebrity texted her way through the end as Hamilton wrote his way to the top.
“Tonight was the first time I asked stage management NOT to allow a celebrity (who was texting all through Act 2) backstage #noselfieforyou”
This tweet has since been deleted but a source confirms to People that it was Madonna who has been texting during the Hamilton show, even arriving late for the show. The source added that Madonna’s behavior was distracting for the Hamilton audience and that sometime towards the end, someone finally hissed “shut if off!” to her.
“It was definitely [Madonna]. She was texting, I believe, although at one point she also pulled out a Blackberry. She was also 20 minutes late and caused quite a stir getting to her seat.”
Watch out, maybe when you get to watch Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda might be doing another VIP stake out and could be sitting very near you.
[Featured image by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images]