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Hamilton, a musical biography of the bastard immigrant who became the first U.S. Treasury secretary, ranks among the most inventive, emotionally gripping theater pieces ever written. But as giddily virtuosic as Miranda’s music and lyrics are, it’s the casting concept that reveals the profundity of his vision. Without comment or apology, black and Hispanic actors (including Miranda, as Hamilton) portray every Founding Father. It’s Miranda’s way of asserting that America’s ideals belong to everyone—and it’s arguably the most optimistic, civic-minded statement any artist is making today.