'Hamilton' star delivers rousing speech at Penn Commencement
Creator and star of the Broadway musical "Hamilton," Lin-Manuel Miranda, delivered the commencement speech to 2016 graduates at the University of Pennsylvania on Monday.
Miranda began his speech with an apology to Philadelphia that neither the city or the state is mentioned in "Hamilton," with the exception of one “one couplet.” Miranda’s portrayal of Hamilton mentions a “one blink and you’ll miss it” reference to the Liberty Bell.
Miranda, in character, also made amends on behalf of Alexander Hamilton for assisting in the moving the U.S. capital from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.
"But take the long view, 'Motown' Philly," Miranda said, "who really won that deal in the end? Look at D.C. It's synonymous with institutional dysfunction, partisan infighting and political gridlock. You are known as the birthplace of Louisa May Alcott, Rocky Balboa, Boyz II Men, Betsy Ross, Will Smith, Isaac Asimov, Tina Fey, cheese steaks and you can have scrapple, soft pretzels and Wawa hoagies whenever you want. You win, Philly. You win every time."
Miranda then added, "water ice."
Miranda also touched upon his personal experiences while attending college, how he ended a relationship with his then girlfriend, but also developing his first play. He also delved a little bit into the political realm.
"In a year when politicians traffic it in anti-immigrant rhetoric, there is also a Broadway musical reminding us that a broke, orphan immigrant from the West Indies built our financial system," Miranda said. "A story that reminds us that since the beginning of the great, unfinished symphony that is our American experiment, time and time again, immigrants get the job done.