Purdue invited Ron Chernow to speak here last week, as part of a Purdue Institute for Civic Communication event. a whole class of lucky history and communication students are studying the biography and the musical this semester. they even get to go see the show in Chicago next week, apparently. very lucky. some of those students prepared questions for Mr. Chernow, and they were all pretty interesting.
the best parts of everything Ron Chernow shared were the stories about his job as historical consultant for the musical. and the very best story out of all the amusing little stories about his interactions with cast and producers, etc. was the one with which he opened the whole discussion. Brian Lamb had just asked, "now, how did you end up meeting Lin-Manuel Miranda?" and Chernow jumped right into the time he met with Lin-Manuel Miranda and heard the first song of the show for the very first time. Ron Chernow recounted the visit, the introduction Miranda made, and even quoted the first few lines: "How does a bastard, orphan..."
and then kept quoting, in pretty well-matched rhythm to the actual rap we all know and love so much now. another verse, another, and another.
as he got further and further into it, the audience started snapping along, singing/chanting along with him, wondering if he was really going to go through it all.
and he did. all nearly-four-minutes of it.