'One Hot Ticket': Hip-Hop Musical 'Hamilton' Takes Over White House for a Day

PHOTO: President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic fundraiser following a special performance of the Broadway show, "Hamilton," at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York, Nov. 2, 2015.PlaySaul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
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The hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” -- a hip-hop musical chronicling the life of former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton -- has taken over the White House today.

Delivering remarks prior to a performance in the East Room tonight, the President said it was an “understatement to say this was one hot ticket.”

While Hamilton himself never ascended to the presidency, his story had captured the admiration of President Obama and the first lady, who invited the cast for a workshop and special performance inside the White House today.

The president said that the soundtrack to the musical has become a “favorite in the Obama household,” prompting cheers from Mrs. Obama, who the president called out for her audible enthusiasm.

The audience snapped along as seven cast members rapped and sang the hit track "Alexander Hamilton." Others sang backup vocals.

It's not the first time in the White House for the musical's creator and lead Lin-Manuel Miranda. He first performed the musical's title track at the White House Poetry Slam in 2009, before he even had written the full musical.

"The truth is though, they do owe me," the president quipped, adding that he laughed when Miranda told him the idea for the show. "Obviously, since that time, 'Hamilton' has become a phenomenon, a smash hit. It’s taken Broadway by storm, captivating the entire country, winning tons of awards, turned musical haters into diehard fans.

"Who is laughing now?" Obama beamed. "Not to take credit or anything, but this is definitely the room where it happened."


The Obamas would go on to attend the final product several times. Michelle Obama attended the performance off-Broadway in April of 2015 and the president followed up attending a matinee performance that July.

Obama then chose the Broadway version as the setting for a fundraiser near the end of last year at the Richard Rodgers Theatre where he called 'Hamilton' "a cultural landmark."

"Michelle and I love this show. It also happens to be the only thing Dick Cheney and I agree on," Obama said. "Part of what’s so powerful about this performance is it reminds us of the vital, crazy, kinetic energy that’s at the heart of America -- that people who have a vision and a set of ideals can transform the world."

Obama said that he wanted to share this incredible musical at the White House with folks who otherwise might not have this experience on Broadway.

"Hamilton is not just for people who can score a ticket to a pricey Broadway show," Obama said. "It is a story for all of us, and about all of us."

Vice President, Dr. Jill Biden and several administration officials also attended the performance.

Miranda, 36, reflected on the experience of performing for Obama during an interview with “60 Minutes.”

"When the president is here, what is he thinking as he sees George Washington say, 'I have to step down so the country can move on?'" Miranda said.

Miranda and the “Hamilton” cast announced their White House visit in an online video. The group also held a student workshop and Q&A at the White House.