Has there been a Broadway show that has gained more notoriety and acclaim in the 21st century than Hamilton? It's hard to think of too many shows that reached its heights. Lin-Manuel Miranda's astounding successful musical based on the life of Alexander Hamilton is an infusion of history and hip hop, recontextualizing the story of one of our nation's oldest, most famous figures for a new generation of music lovers.
Nearly everyone involved with Hamilton saw their profile rise following the show's immense success, including Anthony Ramos. The young theater actor played an emotional part in the dual role of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton, and he's gotten an album deal, several high-profile movie roles, and a great deal of notice and awards consideration, including a Grammy, thanks to his acclaimed performance in this extremely popular historical musical. Let's explore Anthony Ramos' rise to fame.
Anthony Ramos Initially Wanted To Be A Baseball Player/Coach
Everyone has a different path, finding their talents and career destination along the way, though Anthony Ramos didn't initially set his sights on being a young actor/musician of the stage and screen. No, in his early life, Ramos planned to be a baseball player, with aspirations to join the NCAA Division III in college, followed by a coaching career after graduation. The athlete had the highest batting average of his team, and he could see his future.
Alas, this plan didn't come to pass. He claims he lost his love for the sport and he needed something else. Around this time, Ramos started performing in school assemblies in a student group called the Halsey Trio, where he sang Motown songs. This sparked a fire that kept burning, and rather than go to college for baseball, he sought out professional acting instead.
After high school, Anthony Ramos attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy on a full scholarship. He graduated in 2011, and it wasn't long after he got his diploma that he started propelling himself as a performer, particularly in various stage roles which would serve him well.
Before Hamilton, Anthony Ramos Was In A Touring Production Of In The Heights In 2012
Even before he found himself in both off-and-on Broadway productions of Hamilton, Anthony Ramos was already well-versed in Lin-Manuel Miranda's work, even if he wasn't working with him directly yet. In 2012, Ramos gained exposure by performing in regional and touring musical productions of a few different musicals. Most notably, Ramos performed in a touring production of In the Heights in 2012, where the young actor played Sonny de la Vega. The character is the cousin of the musical's main character, Usnavi de la Vega, though Ramos got a chance to play this leading man role.
He Worked With The Rockettes As He Auditioned For Hamilton
Following his regional and touring productions, Anthony Ramos found himself in the company of The Rockettes. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. The actor performed in Heart and Lights at Radio City Music Hall, which was a dance show that involved the world-famous dancing group. But it didn't go far. It was canceled during previews, though that certainly didn't affect Ramos' career. He was already auditioning for the off-Broadway production of Hamilton during rehearsals for this ill-fated show, and the ultimate failure of Heart and Lights only made it easier for Ramos to make the transition to Hamilton.
Anthony Ramos Is Engaged To Fellow Hamilton Star Jasmine Cephas Jones
It's no exaggeration to say that Hamilton changed Anthony Ramos' life. Not only did the actor find his career ascending thanks to his involvement in this acclaimed musical, but he also found love along the way. Indeed, as the actor performed in the show both off and on Broadway, he found himself in a relationship with his co-star, Jasmine Cephas Jones, which grew more serious as the Tony-winning musical continued to gain more stream. The actor and actress first started their relationship after rehearsals for The Public Theater performance in early 2015, and their love never wavered from there. In late 2018, it was revealed that Jones and Ramos were engaged. It's unclear when they're planning to get hitched, but their love ultimately grew with Hamilton's success.
Anthony Ramos Reunited With Lin-Manuel Miranda For "Almost Like Praying" For Hurricane Maria Victims
In addition to their work together with Hamilton (and their indirect work together with 2012's In the Heights touring production), Anthony Ramos and Lin-Manuel Miranda also paired up for a few other projects. In June 2014, they performed a 14-minute, one-time performance of Manuel's short musical, 21 Chump Street, which was recorded for NPR's This American Life. Ramos played the part of Justin Laboy. Additionally, in 2017, the musical actors reunited to record Manuel's song, "Almost Like Praying," which was a release to benefit the victims of Hurricane Maria. Ramos was a vocalist for this track. In addition to these collaborations, Ramos and Miranda have another project still set in store. And it might prove to be one of their biggest to date.
Anthony Ramos Released His Debut Album, The Good & The Bad, In October 2019
As noted before, Anthony Ramos has seen a great deal of success following Hamilton's phenomenal Broadway and Off-Broadway run. In addition to elevating Ramos' acting career, which includes roles in Bradley Cooper's A Star is Born, Netflix's She Gotta Have It, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Trolls World Tour, and more, he also found his music career expanding when he got his own record deal. In October 2019, Ramos released his first studio album, The Good & The Bad, which was released by Republic Records. It debuted at number 21 on US Billboards Heatseekers Album charts, and the making of this debut album was documented in the YouTube series, It Takes A Village.
Anthony Ramos Has The Lead Role Of In The Heights' Movie Adaptation
Next summer, everything comes full circle for Anthony Ramos. In 2012, the theater actor got his start playing a part in the touring production of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning musical, In the Heights. In 2021, nearly ten years after he gained exposure for this performance, Ramos will play the lead role of the show's forthcoming film adaptation, produced by Miranda and directed by Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians). Ramos stars as Usnavi de la Vega, the role Miranda performed in the show's original Broadway run. Having Ramos take over the reins from Miranda feels like a father passing the torch to his son — which isn't coincidental given their Hamilton roles. Particularly as Miranda is too old to reprise this role, Ramos is probably the best person for the pivotal part. Hopefully, he does a great job.
Are you a big fan of Anthony Ramos? Are you looking forward to seeing his upcoming performance in In the Heights? Do you love Hamilton? Let us know in the comments!
Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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