Pulitzer for “Hamilton” and Twitter’s all gaga

By : |April 19, 2016 0

No work of drama created during the 2015-2016 season has been more popular or critically acclaimed. So the coronation of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda — announced Monday afternoon with the year’s honors in arts, letters and journalism — was hardly surprising.

“Hamilton”, a thrilling hip-hop musical that retells the story of one of the nation’s founding fathers, is now a Pulitzer Prize winner and its biggest fans on social media are predictably freaking out with joy. Its seemingly ubiquitous composer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda quickly reacted to the news on Twitter:

“It is a tremendous honor to even be considered for this very prestigious award,” Miranda, already a Grammy winner and a McArthur Foundation “genius” grant recipient, said in a statement.

He further added, “Quiara [AlegriaHudes] and I were elated to have been recognized as finalists for In The Heights, so to win today for Hamilton is beyond my wildest dreams. This award is for everyone who has been a part of Hamilton’s six plus year journey. To be the ninth musical to ever win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in its 100 year history is truly humbling for all of us. For Hamilton to now be in the same company as Of Thee I Sing, South Pacific, Fiorello!, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Chorus Line, Sunday in the Park with George, Rent, and most recently Next to Normal is outside of our own comprehension. Look at where we are. Look at where we started.”

Musicals that win the prize have been relatively rare, not least because the form is dominated by works of adaptation, and the Pulitzers privilege work “preferably original in its source.” The last musical to win the award was “Next to Normal” in 2010 — before that was “Rent” in 1995.

“Hamilton” does have a source in the 2004 Hamilton biography penned by Ron Chernow, but the Miranda work is unarguably original in style, content, form, attitude and gravitas.

Pulitzers are awarded for the work itself — in this case, the book, music and lyrics — not for the production of the work, which is being directed on Broadway by Thomas Kail.

Though the other winners of the 100th annual Pulitzer are being celebrated across various social media platforms, praise for “Hamilton” seems to have magneted all the attention on Twitter as #YayHamilton began trending late Monday afternoon:

 

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