You could think of the "Hamilton" Effect in many ways.
The pandemic-paused musical about U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton has been such a juggernaut, both on Broadway and on the road, that its tentacles have reached into most areas of popular culture.
It could mean increased openness to the show's color-conscious casting. As its creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda says in an introduction to the filmed version that begins streaming Friday on the subscription service Disney+, "Black and brown performers tell the story of the origin of our country." Would an all-female "1776" be coming to Broadway (and Des Moines) if it weren't for "Hamilton"?
Or it could mean the way this show has heightened interest in theater as an art form. Across the nation, touring presenters successfully banked on the idea that folks would buy season tickets if they knew there was no other way to assure themselves of "Hamilton" seats. Twin Cities theaters said they didn't think "Hamilton" swiped dollars from their productions; the first day of individual sales for the Minneapolis run of "Hamilton" in 2018 coincided with the kickoff for the Guthrie's "West Side Story," which set ticket high marks of its own.
The "Hamilton" Effect certainly rubbed off on its original cast, many of whom we know from other roles but will finally get to see in the show that launched them to stardom. (It even happened to replacements: Austin Scott parlayed a touring role as Hamilton into the starring part in this year's Bob Dylan musical, "Girl From the North Country.")
Miranda himself has become a Pulitzer Prize winner, an Oscar nominee and a household name since the debut of "Hamilton" in 2015. But he's not alone, as demonstrated by the host of talented folks whose career-making work was once available only to those who made it to the Public Theater or Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City, but now streams on the device of your choice.
Other than a couple of recording projects, Diggs was unknown before "Hamilton" earned him acclaim and a supporting actor Tony. He parlayed that into movie and TV work, co-creating and starring in the acclaimed indie film "Blindspotting" and appearing in TV shows "The Mayor" (which he coproduced), "Blackish" and now "Snowpiercer." Next, he'll provide the voice of crab Sebastian in a "live action" remake of "The Little Mermaid," with new songs by Miranda.
Renée Elise Goldsberry
A showbiz veteran whose credits stretch back more than two decades to "Ally McBeal," Goldsberry's career has taken off since the show in which she introduced Hamilton to his future wife, her sister Eliza (played by Phillipa Soo, who mostly does stage work). Since winning a Tony for "Hamilton," she booked the title role in the TV movie "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" and recurring roles on "Evil" and "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist," in which she's a corporate rival to Lauren Graham's character. She also co-stars in last year's underrated movie drama "Waves."
Being pals with Miranda has opened up various opportunities for Kail, who also directed his collaborator's earlier Broadway musical, "In the Heights," and won a Tony for "Hamilton." Kail earned Emmy nominations for directing and coproducing (with Miranda) the TV miniseries "Fosse/Verdon" (and has subsequently married and had a child with "Verdon" star Michelle Williams). Kail's next project is a new movie of "Fiddler on the Roof."
While he has yet to bag his O (he earned an Oscar nomination for a "Moana" song), Miranda was an EGT even before "Hamilton" debuted. He won a Tony and Grammy for "In the Heights" and an Emmy for a song he wrote for a Tony Awards broadcast; since then, he's become a movie star (in "Mary Poppins Returns" and the upcoming "Heights") and a TV regular (including "Drunk History," "Saturday Night Live" and the big-budget HBO fantasy series "His Dark Materials"). He'll make his directing debut with "Tick, Tick ... Boom!," a musical that had just begun filming when the business shut down in March.
Leslie Odom Jr.
Give or take Jonathan Groff, who played King George on Broadway, Odom was probably the most established actor in the original "Hamilton" company by virtue of his regular role on the Broadway-themed series "Smash." Odom has racked up numerous Broadway credits since his teenage debut in "Rent," but earning a best-actor Tony for "Hamilton" (beating co-star Miranda) helped him become a recording and concert star, as well as earning him roles in films including "Murder on the Orient Express" and "Harriet." He also wrote a nonfiction book, has several upcoming movies and is shooting one of the first shelter-in-place TV productions, "Love in the Time of Corona."
Okieriete 'Oak' Onaodowan
Onaodowan, who has extensive theater credits, touched off the first big post-Hamilton controversy when he charged racism was the reason he was released from a contract to appear in Broadway's "Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812," which closed soon after he made those charges. He pivoted to TV, where his arc on "Grey's Anatomy" led to a lead in the spinoff series "Station 19."
Although he may be most immediately recognizable as "The Guy Who's Got It All" in commercials for Crown Royal, Ramos has had a long association with Miranda. He appeared in "In the Heights" and other projects before "Hamilton" earned him movie roles in "A Star Is Born" (he's in the drag bar where Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper flirt), "Godzilla: King of Monsters" and the delayed, big-screen "Heights." He's engaged to Jasmine Cephas Jones, who played Peggy Schuyler in the original "Hamilton" cast and has appeared in the TV series "Mrs. Fletcher" and movies "The Photograph" and "Marriage Story."
Chris Hewitt • 612-673-4367 • @HewittStrib