​Alexander Hamilton: A life made for the stage

An off-Broadway musical is moving ON Broadway later this year -- fitting, in a way, for the story of an American who was all about moving onward and upward. Mo Rocca has saved us a front-row seat for the new show, "Hamilton":

"How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore
And a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot
In the Caribbean, by Providence impoverished, to squalor
Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?"

When Lin-Manuel Miranda sings about the drive of the "young, scrappy and hungry" immigrant, he's not singing about just any immigrant. He's singing about the man on the 10-dollar bill -- Alexander Hamilton, the revolutionary, visionary, and youngest of the founding fathers.

"This is a guy who, on the strength of his writing, pulled himself from poverty into the revolution that helped create our nation, and caught beef with every other founding father," said Miranda. "I mean, there's great drama; there's a great love story; there is incredible political intrigue."


In other words, a life made for the stage.

"Hamilton," written by and starring Miranda, is a smash off-Broadway at New York's Public Theater, and is heading to Broadway this summer. It's Hamilton's life and death at the hand of Vice President Aaron Burr put to music that's as energetic as the man and the times he lived through.

"We take it as a given that hip hop music is the music of the revolution," said Miranda.

"Hey, yo, I'm just like my country
I'm young, scrappy and hungry
And I'm not throwing away my shot."
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Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos and Lin-Manuel Miranda in "Hamilton."
Joan Marcus/Public Theater

"Hamilton"'s unlikely journey to the stage began six years ago when Miranda on vacation picked up a 700-page Hamilton biography.

"By the end of the second chapter, I was on Google saying, 'Someone's already made this into a musical. How can anyone not have made this into a musical?'"

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Playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda.
CBS News

For Miranda, an urban sound made perfect sense for Hamilton's story.

"You took it as a given that hip hop would be the musical vernacular of the founding fathers," said Rocca. "Is that because of the energy?"