Though it took Lin-Manuel Miranda six years to get it to Broadway, the hit show “Hamilton” propelled him to new heights. “There are things you want to say if you’re a writer, but when you have opportunities come along, you say no to them at your our peril. He co-wrote the music for Disney’s new animated film “Moana,” and is rehearsing for “Mary Poppins Returns” with Emily Blunt, which is set to shoot early next year.“I’m where you always want to be, or at least some version of it,” says Miranda. You never know when they might come along again, and I’m struggling to find that balance.” The 36-year-old won a Pulitzer Prize, two Grammys, an Emmy, a MacArthur “Genius” Award and three Tonys.
“I get to do my David Bowie impression,” says the composer.He also managed to squeeze in another Disney writing gig during that time. “I said, ‘Hey, if you need some music for the cantina scene, let me know,’ and he says, ‘I do need music for the cantina scene.’ ” Abrams, who was completing “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” saw “Hamilton” and afterward “was effusive about the show,” the composer recalls. Director J.J. His favorite song from the film is “Shiny,” sung by Jemaine Clement, who plays a giant jewel-encrusted crab.
Now getting a ticket to the show — based on the 2004 scholarly biography “Alexander Hamilton” by historian Ron Chernow — is nearly impossible.Writing for “Moana” required Miranda to be aware of the rhythms of Polynesia. He credits Foa’i for helping with that. “But it’s fun and challenging and pushes you outside what would be your comfort zone.” “He’s the greatest cultural musical ambassador from that part of the world,” says Miranda, and he quickly learned to take the rhythmic lead from him.“I remember bringing a song to Opetaia, and he said, ‘That’s your island’s rhythm, not my island’s rhythm,’ ” says Miranda, who is of Puerto Rican descent.
At the time, he was working on “Hamilton” in which he played the title character.So sometimes he would be in his “Hamilton” costume while working with his “Moana” co-writers over Skype.“It was a great break. One of those opportunities was to write music for “Moana” with New Zealand songwriter Opetaia Foa’i and composer Mark Mancina. So it has been an eventful couple of years. His son was born in November 2014, and “Hamilton” debuted off-Broadway in January 2015, and this year the awards began piling up. When I was sick of the Founding Fathers rapping, I could steal across the sea with ‘Moana.’ ”About the time Miranda got the “Moana” gig, he found out his wife was pregnant.