Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton has won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, it was just announced live at 3:10pm. We are able to get this news to you right away because we prewrote everything here except the exact time of the announcement.
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That is not to say that the Pulitzers are always predictable. There have been major snubs in the 100-year history of the prize, most notably for Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. (The Pulitzers’ drama jury recommended it, but the board found it too foul-mouthed and depressing, and opted to give no prize at all that year.) Other major works of American drama that didn't win the Pulitzer include The Glass Menagerie, The Crucible and A Raisin in the Sun. But come on: We’re talking about Hamilton.
This is also not to say that no other plays would be worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. In another year, for example, Stephen Karam’s The Humans might be a contender. (His Sons of the Prophet was a finalist in 2012.) And the Pulitzers only reward musicals once every decade or so. Hamilton is the ninth in Pulitzer history; the last was 2010’s Next to Normal, and the one before that was 1996’s Rent. But come on: We’re talking about Hamilton.
Hamilton is not only exceptionally good; it is also exceptionally popular and exceptionally zeitgeisty. This year belongs to Hamilton. Hamilton could buy and sell this year ten times over. A Pulitzer snub wasn’t going to happen. Miranda’s musical has already won the 2015 Lucille Lortel Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award; it won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical nearly unanimously, and no one doubts that it will clean up at the Tony Awards in June. The Pulitzer is just one more well-deserved jewel in its crown.
So that’s today’s not-quite-news about Hamilton. Congratulations to Miranda on his win! And to everyone else: Keep entering the online Hamilton lottery. Maybe one year you'll win, too.