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HamHistory: Review 8 Years of Hamilton Via Lin-Manuel Miranda's Twitter Updates

Go back in time with Lin-Manuel as he creates his "masterpiece."

Creating a musical takes time. A lot of time. Years of research and rewrites. Of table reads and workshopping new songs. In the case of composer/lyricist/bookwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton, that genesis happened over the course of eight years. Not a remarkably long or short period of time in the development of a new musical, but what is unique about the Hamilton process is that the entire Twitter universe (or, at the very least, 71K of Miranda's followers) got to witness its creation through tweets, videos, photographs, and even late-night live-streaming video chats where Miranda answered questions about everything from (then called) The Hamilton Mixtape to Grand Theft Auto 5. This was the first time the public saw glimpses of, from beginning to end and in real time via the Internet, the birth of a new Broadway musical.

We compiled 50 of Miranda's tweets — from as far back as Twitter would allow us to go to till the present — to create a social-media timeline of Hamilton's evolution.

1. 2008: Where it all started. LMM recently tweeted a #MrowbackMonday (his spin on a #tbt) of himself reading Ron Chernow's Hamilton biography on vacation in 2008 (before Miranda joined Twitter).

2. 2009: LMM debuted the first song, which is now the opening song of Hamilton, at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word. We can all thank Ambassador Patrick Gaspard for that.

3. May 13, 2011: The Daily Show's Jon Stewart rants about the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word and pokes fun at Alexander Hamilton being the subject of a rap song. LMM tweets a link to the video (which has been moved to here).

Not to worry, Stewart seems to be warming to the idea these days.

4. May 25, 2011: Followers ask for an update on The Hamilton Mixtape.

5. June 8, 2011: LMM talks with Hamilton biographer (and the show's historical consultant) Ron Chernow. There are a few social-media shout outs to meetings Miranda has with Chernow over the course of his writing process.

6. June 20, 2011: LMM tries out a new Hamilton tune at the Ars Nova fundraiser. (A quick YouTube search revealed that people honored the no-cameras request. Good job, Twitterico!)

7. June 21, 2011: Reporting back on the Ars Nova evening, LMM (quite accurately) predicts the future.

8. July 12, 2011: On this day in 1804, Hamilton died in the West Village. The harmonies in this YouTube video are giving shades of the Schuyler sisters.

9. October 15, 2011: Everyone needs an occasional Buffy break.

10. October 30, 2011: The Hamilton Mixtape is announced for the American Songbook Series in 2012.

11. November 30, 2011: The cast for the America Songbook's Hamilton concert starts coming together. (Christopher Jackson has been in it to win it, having played George Washington since this concert.)

12. September 1, 2012: A reminder that musicals and masterpieces take time.

Periodically during the writing process, Miranda asked his followers to yell at him when he was on Twitter instead of writing. Followers happily obliged and Twitter-prolific Miranda mostly kept his tweets down to one every few days.

13. December 2, 2012: How the lyric sausage is made vs. how the political sausage is made:


15. December 19, 2012: LMM spent 2012 shooting the television series Do No Harm with fellow Broadway star Steven Pasquale.

16. December 21, 2012: A major rewrite is completed.

17. December 29, 2012: Twitter got a taste of some Hamilton lyrics.


19. March 30, 2013: While LMM wrote, other stuff happened in the world.

20. Apr 19, 2013: Hamilton is announced as part of Vassar's Powerhouse Theater season.

21. May 2, 2013: Lafayette makes his linguistic allegiances known.

22. May 3, 2013: A table read.

23. July 16, 2013: The Hamilton Mixtape makes chapter 6 of LMM's mental autobiography (something tells us it probably has its own section by now).

24. July 22, 2013: Disappointed LMM couldn't work in a reference to one of his favorite cult movies, The Room here, but for writing 30 tunes, he's off the hook.

25. August 11, 2013: There were occasional late-night Twitterico Town Hall Meetings (AKA live chats) where fans got the latest updates on Hamilton progress and a lyric or two.

26. September 17, 2013: Sometimes Hamilton had to wait on other projects.

27. October 8, 2013: Everyone procrastinates. Even writers on deadline.

28. October 24, 2013: A Hamilton album update.

29. January 10-11, 2014: We all got history lessons in between the writing updates.


31. January 23, 2014: A high-five from fate.

32. January 24, 2014: Music director Alex Lacamoire takes over on some Hamilton teaching.

33. March 6, 2014: Hamilton's world premiere is announced as part of The Public Theater's 2014-2015 season.

34. April 4, 2014: A Hamilton creative-team cabinet meeting.

35. April 8, 2014: 30 songs become 52 songs.

36. April 13, 2014: An artist at work finishing his hat.

37. April 16, 2014: This is what goes through a writer's head.

38. April 26, 2014: More from inside a writer's brain.

39. July 16, 2014: LMM writes the Hamilton cast breakdown for the Public Theater production. And it's amazing. (Scroll down, it's still there.)

40. July 29, 2014: Hamilton tickets on sale for the show's Public Theater premiere.

41. October 2, 2014: Hamilton Public cast is announced.

42. November 10, 2014: While actors filled out the roles in Hamilton, LMM and his wife, Vanessa, got a new cast member at home.

Starting on January 20 2015, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Co put on Hamilton at The Public Theater. LMM's Twitter feed is filled with selfies galore with Twitterico fans, friends, and celebrities alike, all who have come downtown to see the show.

43. February 18, 2015: A new Hamilton hashtag (and future merch item) is born: #YayHamlet

44. June 15, 2015: Hamilton Broadway cast is announced.

45. July 2, 2015: Hamilton begins tech at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

46. July 13, 2015: Hamilton begins previews on Broadway in the same theater where LMM's In the Heights played.

47. July 14, 2015: The first preview goes well.

48. July 15, 2015: The Hamilton lottery becomes a performance in and of itself with a rotation of cast members rapping at 5:55pm every performance day. LMM dubs it the HAM4HAM Show.

49. July 16, 2015: It's announced that Questlove and Black Thought are on board to produce the Hamilton cast album, dropping this fall.

50. July 18, 2015: President Obama and his daughters take in the matinee performance of Hamilton, where they see Javier Muñoz debut in the role of Alexander Hamilton (Muñoz is Miranda's alternate in the role). LMM watches the show for the first time on Broadway. Full circle.