The Tony winner teared up on Friday as he brought his father, Luis, onstage at the Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center at Hamilton's opening night in Puerto Rico, over a year after Lin-Manuel first set his sights on bringing the musical to the island.
“No one moved more mountains than him,” he told the crowd of his father, who is running the production, during curtain call, giving him a sweet hug. The actor opened up more about his father's contributions at a press conference backstage following the sold-out performance, telling reporters that "bringing my father out on stage tonight" was the moment he "savored the most."
“No one’s worked harder than him,” Lin-Manuel said. “I really thought there was moments he was not going to survive. My dad’s worked in politics and been the most efficient guy in the room his entire career -- the whole thing was a test for this. Him getting applause was the highlight of my night.”
Luis opened up about the struggle of getting Hamilton to Puerto Rico during an interview with CBS This Morning. As he revealed, the show was supposed to be put on at the University of Puerto Rico, his alma mater. It didn't work out, and they had to move the production to the Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center.
"Puerto Rico is ready... if this can happen, tons of other things can happen. Congress can give Puerto Rico the aid it needs," Luis said of his hopes for what Hamilton can do for his homeland.
Backstage and On Stage we got a behind the scenes tour of the Hamilton Musical venue in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The venue changed at the last minute, according to @Lin_Manuel’s father @vegaalta, who gave us the backstory on that. https://t.co/txkwBtMJU8pic.twitter.com/slpp4WrWRR— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) January 11, 2019
Lin-Manuel reprised his role of Alexander Hamilton on Friday night, for the first time since leaving the original Broadway cast in 2016. He'll continue to play the part for the next 23 performances in Puerto Rico, aiming to bring awareness to the area which was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the aftermath of the September 2017 storm, which also left about $90 billion in damages.
All profits from Hamilton's Puerto Rico run will go to the Flamboyan Arts Fund, which Lin-Manuel co-launched. The fund is dedicated to preserving, amplifying and sustaining the arts in Puerto Rico.
See more on how the stars are supporting Puerto Rico in the video below.