Miranda’s Les Miz

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‘I really got my Les Miz on in this score, like being really smart about where to reintroduce a theme’, noted Lin-Manuel Miranda soon after Hamilton’s off-Broadway opening in early 2015. Indeed, both in its techniques of thematic recurrence and in its continuous musicalization, Miranda’s approach follows his acknowledged model. Yet, Les Misérables more deeply pervades Hamilton’s dramaturgy than even Miranda has noted, as can be seen in several remarkable parallels between plot, characters and dramatic structure. Taken together, these and other analogies between the shows suggest that Hamilton retraces the dramatic and emotional arcs of Les Misérables, which Miranda has described as one member of the ‘Holy Trinity’ of Broadway shows.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-221
Number of pages9
JournalStudies in Musical Theatre
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • adaptation
  • Bechdel test
  • Hamilton
  • Horatio Alger
  • Les Misérables
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda


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