9-Year-Old Mega ‘Hamilton’ Fan Sees His Future in Broadway After Seeing Asian Americans Represented
Leo's newest role model is Eddy Lee, a swing in the show who has gone on as Hamilton several times.
A New Jersey boy considered one of, if not the, biggest “Hamilton” fan threw the most epic watch party ever for the juggernaut musical's July 3 premiere on Disney+. “It's one of the greatest things in the world,” Leo Lvoff, 9, told Inside Edition Digital.
His entire New Jersey living room was transformed to look like the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City. It's where “Hamilton” has played on Broadway for the last five years.
There were balloons and carefully crafted signs, as well.
“This is a Sharpie, poster,” Leo showed off of his design to showcase the Schuyler sisters. “It's actually supposed to represent outside the Richard Rodgers Theatre. They have those doors and on them the posters."
“Moving over here, we have Laurens and Mulligan going, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, what?' to Hamilton and Eliza kissing," he continued.
Leo also showed off the festive and fun food he made sure was served: “'Peggy’s in a blanket' and 'You’ll Be Baby Back Ribs.'”
Leo also set up a gift shop full of his prized collections, including an “Alexander Hamilton” book, “Hamilton” T-shirts and a Benjamin Franklin costume that’s now too small on Leo, but one he will cherish forever.
Leo's affinity for the coat is understandable, as "Hamilton" creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda once said “keep wearing that coat. Never stop,” after watching a video Inside Edition Digital showed him of Leo rapping.
"Watching the moment, Leo realized his hero had seen him perform, was so emotional," Leo's mom Mindy told Inside Edition Digital in 2018. "Leo couldn’t seem to get his face close enough to the video and was just vibrating with happiness. He watched it over and over to watch Lin watch him. When Lin told him to keep wearing his coat, it was like Lin could read Leo’s heart because we have to tell Leo all the time that he can’t wear the coat to school, even though he wants to."
Leo has taken Miranda's advice— and has never stopped. He rapped throughout the entire first viewing of watching the musical on Disney+.
“I've never seen this cast before,” he said. “I think I'm going to sit down and watch what's different. I'm going to look out for that, and I'm also going to try and perform some of the numbers I know by heart.”
Leo's love for history led to his passion for "Hamilton." After that, Leo was hooked.
"[It] was like a gateway musical to Leo’s love of all things musical and of performing," Mindy said. To date, Leo has seen the show on Broadway five times. And it's helped Leo come out of his shell, his mom said.
"Leo had a tough two years where he had to switch schools and didn’t have a lot of self-confidence," Mindy said. "He’s come so far now. He is confident and works so hard at what he loves. He’s filled with creativity."
Leo's newest role model is Eddy Lee, a swing in the show who has gone on as Hamilton several times. Lee is the first male Asian American performer to join the Broadway company. That resonates with Leo.
“We opened that playbill and I saw Eddy and I was like, ‘Mommy, it's me! This means I can be in ‘Hamilton,’" Leo said.
“It was one of the things we love the most about Hamilton,” Mindy said. “Everyone is represented. ‘Hamilton’ is probably one of the first shows that we've ever seen that really went out of its way to make sure that everyone had an opportunity to be on that stage, and that meant a lot to us.”
Leo’s quite a few years away from starring in a production himself, but seeing Lee on stage makes him believe there’s a future for him there too.
“I want to be a swing like Eddy," he said. "And then maybe even work my way up to 'Hamilton.'"
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