Hamilton Wins a Pulitzer

It's only the 9th musical to win the drama award
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 18, 2016 3:00 PM CDT
Hamilton Wins a Pulitzer
This image released by The Public Theater shows Lin-Manuel Miranda, foreground, with the cast during a performance of "Hamilton," in New York.   (Joan Marcus/The Public Theater via AP)

Hamilton, the hip-hop stage biography of Alexander Hamilton, has won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama, honoring creator Lin-Manuel Miranda for a dazzling musical that has captured popular consciousness like few Broadway shows. The Columbia University's prize board on Monday cited Hamilton as "a landmark American musical about the gifted and self-destructive founding father whose story becomes both contemporary and irresistible." "I feel really humbled and really overwhelmed," Miranda told the AP. "Columbia is Hamilton's alma mater so I think that gave me a home-court advantage. But it's extraordinary to be recognized in this way." Hamilton, about the first US Treasury Secretary, becomes the ninth musical to win the drama award, joining such shows as South Pacific, Sunday in the Park with George, and Rent. The last musical to nab the award was Next to Normal in 2010.

Miranda, 36, who wrote the music and story, already has a Tony for creating the Broadway musical In the Heights, a show which was nominated for a Pulitzer in 2009 and this month won three Olivier Awards in London. He also has an Emmy for writing the opening number for the 2013 Tony Awards. In the past year, Miranda, whose family came from Puerto Rico to New York, has won a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation, as well as the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, which came with $100,000. The album for Hamilton won a Grammy Award and became the highest-debuting cast recording on the Billboard Top 200 in over 50 years. The show is a leading favorite in this summer's Tony Awards. The libretto, published last week, immediately became a top seller on Amazon.com. "I'm just trying to stay as present and in the moment as possible because I'm fully aware that this speeds by in the highlight reel. I'm living in the highlight reel section of my life," Miranda said. "I want to slow the montage down." See the rest of the Pulitzer winners here. (More Pulitzer Prize stories.)

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