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Last summer, the Disney+ release of Hamilton livened up the season dry with blockbusters during quarantine. This year, the stylings of Lin-Manuel Miranda will return to the forefront, with In The Heights coming to streaming and theaters next month. It stars Anthony Ramos as Usnavi de la Vega, a first generation Dominican-American bodega owner in Washington Heights. Before we experience Jon M. Chu’s huge movie musical, let’s go back over Ramos' best moments in Hamilton.
Anthony Ramos was part of the original cast of Hamilton, which he originally auditioned for in 2014 while doing a dance show with the Rockettes in New York City called Hearts and Lights. In the award-winning musical, Ramos famously played the dual roles of John Laurens and Hamilton’s eldest son Philip throughout the musical. The In The Heights actor was an instrumental part of Hamilton’s rise to become one of Broadway's most popular musicals. Although he had a supporting role in Hamilton, it’s worth looking back on that before his largest movie role yet.
Now if you want to follow along with us with Hamilton (especially since Broadway has yet to open and all), you can check out the show with us over on Disney+. If you're not already subscribed to the streaming service, you can do so using this link. Now onto Anthony Ramos' best music moments from Hamilton:
Aaron Burr, Sir
Early in the Hamilton musical, Anthony Ramos has a key role as John Laurens alongside Daveed Diggs’ Marquis de Lafayette and Okieriete Onaodowan’s Hercules Mulligan. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton meets the statesman at a bar soon after arriving in New York and meeting his later enemy, Leslie Odom Jr’s Aaron Burr. In the song “Aaron Burr, Sir” we are introduced to the crew, including Ramos’ memorable “yo, yo, yo” as he provides some early bars on the historical American figure.
John Laurens is one of the most fun characters in the musical and the hype man of the earlier half of Hamilton. It’s fun to see how he interacts with Lafayette and Mulligan, and even though he’s not at the center of the spotlight here, his beaming energy is easy to recognize and caught our eyes right away.
Directly after the previous song, Anthony Ramos keeps the eyes on him with the famed song “My Shot,” where Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton shares the ideas that would make him a controversial, but important figure in history. This is a truly great moment for the crew of Laurens, Lafayette and Mulligan as they befriend Hamilton and ‘rise up’ alongside his ideas. Laurens has a major line in the song when he says that “we’ll never be truly free until those in bondage have the same rights as you and me,” before announcing that Hamilton should be placed in front of a crowd.
The last moments of the song has Laurens bringing energy to the crowd as he leads the bridge of “My Shot” and serves as a loud voice of inspiration.
The Story of Tonight
This section of Hamilton gives Anthony Ramos an especially standout moment in “The Story of Tonight” when he becomes a main voice in the song about legacy and the Founding Fathers’ aspirations of freedom as they raise a glass. Ramos’ role in the song expands later in the production as well with the “The Story of Tonight (Reprise),” where his personality additionally shines as he drunkenly and hilariously asks Aaron Burr if he has a special someone “on the side.”
However, as history goes, John Laurens does not make it into the second act. Anthony Ramos’ character dies during a gunfight during the “Tomorrow There’ll Be More Of Us” sequence in the production.
Take A Break
In Act II, Anthony Ramos switches roles to play Alexander Hamilton’s son Philip. First off, he shows up as a nine-year-old who shows promise like his father by singing a cute and fun rap during the song “Take A Break,” led by Phillipa Soo’s Eliza Hamilton. The moment between Ramos’ Philip and Eliza will have an emotional payoff later in the musical, but this sequence is especially memorable due to Ramos’ ability to seamlessly switch up roles and play a younger character. It’s a funny moment to offset the drama of the rest of Hamilton.
Blow Us All Away
As Hamilton begins to wrap up, we see a teenaged Philip Hamilton being proud of his father’s contributions and hoping to continue his legacy as an adult. In “Blow Us All Away,” we meet Anthony Ramos’ as Philip all grown up, but he has a hot head due to someone telling him that his father is a scoundrel. In response, Ramos’ Hamilton challenges the man to a duel, going to his father to tell him what’s going on.
“Blow Us All Away” takes the audience through a huge arc in a short amount of time as he speaks with his father, who tells him to stand his ground in the duel, but offers him some forewarning. The song ends with the unfortunate death of Philip Hamilton.
Stay Alive (Reprise)
Anthony Ramos’ role in the production ends with the heartbreaking moment of death of Alexander and Eliza’s son due to the duel, which will be the same fate of Alexander a few songs later. Ramos delivers a major emotional moment in Hamilton has Alexander watches his son die and Eliza softly repeats the vocal runs they’d been practicing together in “Take a Break.”
The dual roles of Laurens and Philip Hamilton really serve as the energy and heart of the narrative in a lot of ways, and Ramos’ performance was, of course, the first person to bring those roles to life through his performance. A lot of Hamilton is about the Founding Father’s feeling of death; following him and Ramos’ characters definitely fall in line with this idea. The same person playing these close people to him adds some extra weight to it and makes it feel more like a repeating pattern
Now that we’ve gone back over Anthony Ramos most famous collaboration with Lin-Manuel Miranda we’re even more excited to check him out in his leading role with In The Heights coming to theaters and HBO Max on June 11.
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