By: Donna Freydkin
So let's say you're part of "Hamilton," a musical with the most Tony nominations, in this case 16, in history. How do you mark that momentous day?
"We had a really great moment where we all gathered a little bit early down in the basement. As many people as could fit in there," says Daveed Diggs, who originated the roles of both the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. "(The producer) made this great speech about how far we've come and how none of it is possible without every person in the building. We had this moment to breathe and celebrate and toast with champagne and lemonade, depending on what you had to do that night, and then we went back to work."
The musical, created and written by and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, is a massive, colossal hit -- and requires Diggs to perform the fastest rap in Broadway history on stage, eight shows a week. "The two hours and 45 minutes I'm on stage are the only times in my day I know what I'm doing. It's so comforting and is the most fun thing to do every day," says Diggs, up for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.
It's a hallmark of status now to say you've nabbed "Hamilton" tickets. And Diggs fields some pretty bizarre requests.
"I mean, people say wild stuff on Twitter. Offerings of themselves, their first-born children, people say some wild stuff. Those are the craziest. But hopefully they're said in jest," he says.
The key to seeing it, says the Brown University theater graduate, is to just take a beat and relax.
"The show is going to be there. I can always tell people that it's ok if I can't get you tickets right now. My house seats are gone. My mom can't get in. She's seen it eight times, so she's all right. At this point, until Tony season is over, it's impossible," he says.
So wait for the Tonys to pass. Give it a few months. And you'll see it, too. And rest assured, even if some of the original cast members aren't there, you'll still get the full "Hamilton" experience.
"It's wonderful and flattering, this fascination with the original cast. But I've worked with everyone else. The show -- there was this sense when we started of, who can do this? Now it exists. The show is its own calling card. The show is going to be in really good shape for a really long time," he says.