The program enlists speakers including Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, composer Stephen Sondheim, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Cast members discuss the show earnestly and travel to places where history unfolded. Director Thomas Kail says he wanted to remove black-and-white nostalgia to make the show vital and the characters relatable.
"These were real people who lived and died," says Miranda, who wrote the music, lyrics and book. "There’s no saints in this show — not a one."
Yet Miranda speaks with awe about "best-looking Founding Father" Hamilton. He was an illegitimate orphan and an ambitious immigrant who became George Washington’s right-hand man and created much of the federal government. The productive Hamilton makes you wonder what you're doing with your life, Miranda says.
Hamilton also could be arrogant, irritating and elitist. The musical reminds us that we are more than one thing, says Leslie Odom Jr. He won a Tony for playing Aaron Burr, who killed Hamilton in a duel.
Miranda says he didn't anticipate how much the show would help Hamilton's legacy. But the remarkable "Hamilton" has helped the country by offering hope in a dismal political year.