Hamilton: US church apologises for modified rendition of hit musical

By Bernd Debusmann Jr
BBC News

  • Published
Lin Manuel MirandaImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Lin Manuel Miranda during a performance of Hamilton in July 2016

A US church has apologised to Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda for an unauthorised, Bible-themed rewrite of the popular musical.

The rendition from The Door church in McAllen, Texas changed Hamilton's lyrics to include references to Jesus and Christianity.

The changes were condemned by Mr Miranda, who earlier this month vowed to take legal action.

The church will now pay unspecified damages.

In addition to invoking Jesus Christ, the church's rendition added a scene in which Alexander Hamilton repents as well as a sermon inviting those "struggling" with substance abuse and homosexuality to turn to God for help.

Following the show earlier this month, the team behind the original production of Hamilton lodged a protest and filed a cease-and-desist letter. A spokesman for Hamilton also said that the production team "stands for tolerance, compassion, inclusivity and certainly LGBTQ rights".

Mr Miranda thanked those who informed him about the Texas play and said he would "let lawyers do their work".

In an Instagram post on Tuesday, the church acknowledged that it had never received permission to "produce, stage, replicate or alter" Hamilton.

"Our ministry will use this moment as a learning opportunity about protected artistic works and intellectual property," the statement added.

The church vowed to never perform the show again. It said it would destroy any recordings and images and pay unspecified damages.

A spokesman for Hamilton quoted by the New York Times said that the damages would be donated to the South Texas Equality Project, a coalition of organisations that supports the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ-friendly businesses in South Texas.

Hamilton, which made its debut in 2015, tells the story of US founding father Alexander Hamilton. The show - which also made its UK debut in London's West End in 2017 - has since won dozens of awards.

A filmed stage production of the show released by Disney+ in 2020 became one of the most-streamed films of the year.