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Lin-Manuel Miranda Career Timeline: From ‘In the Heights’ to ‘Hamilton’ to Hollywood

June 2, 2021 by TodayTix
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Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Photo by Gage Skidmore on Flickr)

Lin-Manuel Miranda is basically a modern day William Shakespeare. The multi-award-winning writer may be best known as the creative brains behind Hamilton. But he’s been creating and starring in musicals for over 20 years; Lin-Manuel Miranda is a tour-de-force who’s changed the face of theatre forever.

With Miranda having a banner film year with In the Heights, tick, tick… BOOM, and Encantoputting an EGOT within reach — and with Hamilton continuing to take the globe by storm, we’re taking a look back at how Lin-Manuel Miranda established himself in the Broadway scene before becoming a global superstar.

2000: In the Heights debuts

Lin-Manuel Miranda debuts the first version of In the Heights at Wesleyan University, when he is a sophomore in college.

2002: Meet Tommy Kail

Director Tommy Kail joins the project, and they start workshopping In the Heights together. 

Freestyle Love Supreme
Freestyle Love Supreme in 2013 (Photo courtesy of Joe’s Pub)

2003: Freestyle Love Supreme

Miranda co-founds Freestyle Love Supreme, an improv hip-hop troupe that performs around the world. Other founding cast members in Freestyle Love Supreme include Christopher Jackson and James Monroe Iglehart.

2005: Work on In the Heights continues

Miranda and his collaborators take In the Heights to the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, where they workshop the show.

2007In the Heights opens off Broadway

The musical runs at the 37 Arts Theater from Feb. 8 to July 15, 2007. Lin-Manuel Miranda plays the role of Usnavi, and the musical wins two Drama Desk Awards.

In The Heights
In The Heights (Photo by Joan Marcus)

2008: In the Heights Broadway premiere

In the Heights opens on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The musical wins four Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score. In the Heights plays over 1,100 performances, running from Feb. 14, 2008 to Jan. 9, 2011.

2008: Working

Miranda contributes new songs to a revised version of Stephen Schwartz’s musical Working, which premieres at Asolo Repertory Theatre.

2009: Hamilton at the White House

Lin-Manuel performs an excerpt from Hamilton at the White House for the first time, what will eventually become the musical’s opening number “Alexander Hamilton.”

2009: West Side Story revival

Lin-Manuel translates some lyrics to Spanish for a revival of West Side Story, which opened at the Palace Theatre on Broadway. The cast recording won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album.

Bring It On

2012: Bring It On: The Musical

Lin-Manuel works on the songwriting team for Bring It On: The Musical, which runs at St. James Theatre on Broadway for a limited run. 

2012: Merrily We Roll Along

Lin-Manuel stars as Charley in a Encores! Production of Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along.

2013: Hamilton at New York Stage and Film

Hamilton, then called The Hamilton Mixtape, premieres at New York Stage and Film.

2014: Emmy win

Lin-Manuel wins an Emmy for the musical number “Bigger” performed at the 67th Tony Awards. 

2014: 21 Chump Street

Lin-Manuel’s 14-minute one-act musical, 21 Chump Street, premieres at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

2014: Tick, Tick… Boom!

He stars as Jonathan Larson in the Encores! revival of Tick, Tick… Boom!

Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

2015: Hamilton opens off Broadway, then Broadway

Hamilton opens at the Public Theater and later on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in the same year, winning 11 Tony awards. Hamilton is still enjoying its Broadway run, and is considered to be one of the most successful musicals of all time.

2016: Disney time

Miranda writes music for the Disney film Moana, earning an Academy Award nomination. Songs include “How Far I’ll Go,” “You’re Welcome,” “Shiny,” and “I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors).” He also signs on to write new songs for the live-action The Little Mermaid with Alan Menken.

2018: Mary Poppins Returns

Miranda stars in the Disney film Mary Poppins Returns as Jack the lamplighter alongside Emily Blunt in the title role. He’s nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his performance.

2019: Hamilton in Puerto Rico

He reprises role of Alexander Hamilton for two-week run in Puerto Rico. 

Freestyle Love Supreme
Freestyle Love Supreme (Photo by Joan Marcus)

2019: Freestyle Love Supreme on Broadway

Freestyle Love Supreme opens at the Booth Theatre for a limited run; Miranda appears at select performances.

2021 (and beyond)

The film adaptation of In The Heights was released on June 11, and Lin-Manuel cameo stars as Piraguero, the Piragua Guy.

Other recent projects include: the film of tick, tick… BOOM! on Netflix, which marks his debut as film director; the animated feature Vivo, in which he plays the title character: a singer-musician “honey bear”; and the new Disney animated film, Encanto, for which he wrote new songs including the viral hit “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and the Oscar-nominated “Dos Orugitas.”