"Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda joined host Jimmy Fallon on a special episode of the "Tonight Show," which was taped in Puerto Rico and aired Tuesday night.
Miranda, with a little one-time help from Fallon, performed "The Story of Tonight" from his Broadway hit. Another segment featured Fallon and The Roots' Tarik "Black Thought" Trotter riding "El Monstruo," the world's second-longest zip line at Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park in Puerto Rico. Musical artists Bad Bunny, Jose Feliciano and Ozuna also appeared on the episode, which Fallon called a "celebration" and a love letter to the island.
Fallon credited Miranda, who is of Puerto Rican heritage, with the inspiration to take the New York-based show to the U.S. territory, which is still recovering from 2017's devastating Hurricane Maria. Miranda is currently staging a run of his hit Broadway show in the capital city of San Juan while raising relief money for Puerto Rican artists and cultural groups.
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Fallon and Miranda hoped the episode would highlight Puerto Rico's culture as well as what it still faces after Maria, including restoration costs estimated by the government at more than $130 billion.
Miranda said that, in the dress rehearsal, he became emotional during the song "Hurricane," which begins by mentioning the quiet in the eye of the storm. In the aftermath of Maria, which blacked out Puerto Rico, Miranda didn't hear that his family on the island was okay for several days.
He said he remembers writing the song, "and never in a million years imagining it would resonate in this particular way."
The show also resonates for Miranda on a personal level, he said, because it's about "people who left their islands and came to the mainland ... and what does home mean for the kids of those people who made that journey." And the trip was the first time Miranda brought his own children to the island.
Miranda said it was "thrilling" to be back performing the play — he originated the role — but that he had to shake off a little bit of rust.
"It's like riding a bike in traffic in New York," Miranda said. "Like, I know the way. There might be cab doors that open along the way in my mind."
Miranda and Fallon also reminisced, with dueling impresions, about their experiences working with former President Barack Obama, Miranda for a recent remix Obama recorded of the "Hamilton" song "One Last Time" and Fallon on his show's "Slow Jam the News" segment.
"You want me to sing? I'll sing," Miranda recalled Obama saying at the start of their meeting.
"Tonight" closed Tuesday with Feliciano and Ozuna singing a beloved Puerto Rican tune, "En Mi Viejo San Juan" ("In My Old San Juan").