The hit Broadway Musical Hamilton is a story of diversity. It celebrates the idea that America is a nation built on the back of immigrants. To practice what it preaches, the Hamilton characters have always been cast to reflect this history of mixed cultures and races. So while there have been Hispanic and African-American Alexander Hamilton’s, there’s never been an Asian American one. Until now.
Marc dela Cruz, a Japanese-Filipino actor, made his debut as the first Asian Hamilton last weekend. He first joined the cast back in December, becoming the third Filipino-American on the Broadway cast along with Karla Puno Garcia and Christina Glur. Before playing Alexander Hamilton he alternated on various roles like John Laurens, Philip Hamilton, and King George.
His Instagram post marking his Hamilton debut reads:
Today I made my debut in Hamilton on Broadway. The love and support from this company is enormous and they have welcomed me with open arms. I’d like to say thank you to all of the extraordinary, hardworking people who make this show happen […] I am FILLED WITH GRATITUDE for the creators and originators of Hamilton. It’s an honor to help share this astoundingly crafted and important piece of theater.
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I think this video adequately represents my experience these past few weeks. Today I made my debut in Hamilton on Broadway. The love and support from this company is enormous and they have welcomed me with open arms. I’d like to say thank you to all of the extraordinary, hardworking people who make this show happen, to everyone at the Richard Rodgers Theatre who warmly welcomed me into the family, my incredible managers @davidmkrasner and @terryjsaperstein, the wonderful team at Telsey and an especially big thank you to the passionate and patient souls who taught me the show and got me ready. I am FILLED WITH GRATITUDE for the creators and originators of Hamilton. It’s an honor to help share this astoundingly crafted and important piece of theater. Special thank you to @jmiglehart for his words and @carvenslissaint for capturing the moment. #hamiltonbroadway #hamfam #isthisreallyhappening #wholiveswhodieswhotellsyourstory #linmanuelmiranda
In an interview with The FilAm, he tells them about his Filipino heritage. He is Pinoy through his father, Roy dela Cruz, who immigrated to America after the Second World War. Roy was actually a soldier at the time of the war and a survivor of the Bataan death march. His mother, Rochelle, is of mixed-race and was born in Hawaii. She was the one who first introduced him to the theatre. He says that “my mother felt it was important to expose her children to as much culture and art as possible.”
Though there are no clips of him as Hamilton just yet, you watch his performance of “Paradise” from Allegiance (the same musical Lea Salonga starred in!)
Who would you like to see next as part of the Hamilton cast?