To Life! A Wedding Surprise with Lin-Manuel Miranda

The musical Fiddler on the Roof  has played an outsized role in the life of award-winning composer and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda. Before bringing home Pulitzers, Tonys, and a MacArthur Genius Award, Miranda performed in his sixth-grade production of Fiddler  and cites the play as a crucial inspiration for the structure and plot for his first Broadway musical, In The Heights. As we see in this video, Miranda brought a taste of Fiddler  to his own wedding, staging a surprise rendition of “To Life” for his bride, starring their family and friends. In reflecting on the experience, Miranda notes that the song is likely the only piece in musical theatre history performed by a son and his father-in-law where the two get along well. Incredibly, despite the professional choreography and singing, this performance of almost entirely amateur performers took only a week to put together.

Although Miranda grew up in a Puerto Rican family in the deeply Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights, NY, his life has been suffused with Jewish culture. Miranda has stated that “all his friends were Jewish” in school. He was also a member of the Jewish acapella group The Mazeltones when in college at Wesleyan University, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Yeshiva University in 2009.