LIVE

"I've never seen a Broadway show. So I had no frame of reference," the actor said.

By Nick Romano
March 11, 2021 at 09:48 AM EST
Advertisement

Hamilton actor Daveed Diggs repeatedly said he originally thought Lin-Manuel Miranda's concept for the Broadway musical was a "terrible" idea. Apparently, Barack Obama showing up to their performances not once but twice was a good indication that he was wrong.

Diggs spoke about his role in the Broadway musical, which has since become a movie event on Disney+, during a moderated event for Northwestern University's Hillel's annual speaker series. Among various topics, the actor discussed how Hamilton marked his first professional musical engagement, as well as his first Broadway show.

"I've never seen a Broadway show. So I had no frame of reference," Diggs said, as reported by The Daily Northwestern. "But I think the second time the Obamas came was a good barometer."

President Obama famously brought his daughters, Malia and Sasha, to see Hamilton on Broadway in the summer fo 2015. He since welcomed the cast to the White House during his presidency to perform, which included "One Last Shot" from the production. Obama also featured on a "Hamildrop" mix for "One Last Time."

"It sounds initially like it would not work at all," Obama said of Hamilton during a discussion with Marilynne Robinson for the New York Review of Books in 2015. "And it is brilliant, and so much so that I'm pretty sure this is the only thing that Dick Cheney and I have agreed on—during my entire political career—it speaks to this vibrancy of American democracy, but also the fact that it was made by these living, breathing, flawed individuals who were brilliant … But what's most important about [Hamilton] and why I think it has received so many accolades is it makes it live. It doesn't feel distant. And it doesn't feel set apart from the arguments that we're having today. And Michelle and I, when we went to see it, the first thing we thought about was what could we do to encourage this kind of creativity in teaching history to our kids."

Related content:

Comments