At his parents’ zero-lot-line house in South Kendall, Alex Lacamoire, the man responsible for the music of “Hamilton” — one of the biggest hits in Broadway history — is having trouble hearing.
A pair of hearing aids sits on a couch just out of reach.
Lacamoire’s relationship with sound is complicated. Throughout high school at New World School of the Arts, Lacamoire, who has at least 15 percent hearing loss, refused to wear the aids because they made him feel different. When he’s being photographed, he’s still self-conscious about them.
And yet, Lacamoire’s unique ear for music sets him apart.
He helped Lin-Manuel Miranda create the musical which won 11 Tony awards and netted Miranda a Pulitzer Prize. “Hamilton” is the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton, an orphaned immigrant who became the first U.S. Treasury Secretary, told in a rap musical by a multi-ethnic cast. In short, it’s like nothing Broadway had ever seen.
And an anticipated documentary on the phenomenon, “Hamilton’s America,” part of PBS’s Great Performances series, will debut tonight at 9 p.m. on WPBT.
“I often wonder if my handicap is actually an asset,” he said. “My hearing loss makes me listen a little harder. It allows me to live in my own bubble. I can really focus in on music and tune out the world around me.”
READ MORE: He was told as a boy he’d have to go to a deaf school—but he grew up to help make the music to “Hamilton”