“Hamilton” is already a sold-out smash hit, that rare piece of theater to cross over into popular culture, showered with prizes and accolades, celebrated by artists and politicians, memorized by children and late-night talk show hosts.
On Tuesday, the hip-hop musical added another mark of distinction: It was nominated for 16 Tony Awards, more than any other show in Broadway history.
Tony nominators deemed the show prize-worthy in every category of theatermaking — acting, writing, directing, dance, music and design. A whopping seven “Hamilton” performers were singled out; in two categories, “Hamilton” actors will compete against one another.
“It’s unbelievable — it’s absolutely humbling and incredible,” said the show’s 36-year-old creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who was nominated for three awards himself, for his book, his music and his performance in the title role. Mr. Miranda has already won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on the show.
The show is most directly about the life and death of Alexander Hamilton, but it is more broadly, and boldly, about America itself — its origins and its aspirations — as it deftly uses contemporary music and a multiethnic cast to suggest that the revolutionary impulses of the nation’s founding generation are as relevant and as riveting today as they were in the 18th century.
“When I had the idea, I did say to myself, ‘I can’t believe no one’s done this yet,’ because it felt to me like a good idea — Hamilton’s life was uniquely suited to the things that are my strengths: hip-hop and musical-theater storytelling,” Mr. Miranda said in a telephone interview shortly after the nominations were announced.