Lin-Manuel Miranda brought his Broadway hit to Puerto Rico in an effort to raise money for local artists and art organizations that are still struggling after Hurricane Maria devastated the island more than a year ago.
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The two-week run of “Hamilton” kicked off Friday night at the Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center in San Juan and is expected to raise thousands of dollars, the Associated Press reported.
“A lot of people moved a lot of mountains to have us be here in Puerto Rico tonight and to raise as much money as we can for Puerto Rico, while we’re here,” Miranda said.
Miranda rose to fame after creating and starring in the show, which details the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton through music. Miranda’s musical was inspired by a book about Hamilton written by Ron Chernow, who was in the audience in San Juan Friday night.
“There was an extra passion and pain and sadness and beauty that he brought to his character,” Chernow told the AP. “This was no ordinary performance tonight.”
One of the show’s songs, “Hurricane,” proved especially emotional for Miranda and the audience, who paid between $10 and $5,000 for tickets, according to the AP. Nearly 3,000 people people died and thousands more were left without shelter or power after Hurricane Maria hit the island in September 2017.
“It was very hard to sing that here in Puerto Rico because you know better than I what it is to survive a hurricane. I feel like I’m going back to Maria a little bit every time I sing it,” Miranda said.
Following the performance, Miranda was asked by reporters about his thoughts on President Trump’s proposal to use some of the $13.9 billion allocated to the Army Corps of Engineers for disaster relief to build the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, the AP reported.
“I think that’s absolutely monstrous,” Miranda said, apologizing for not having further comment. “It’s the first time I’m hearing that. I’ve been a little busy.”