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Did Aaron Burr Have a Lisp? Or Does Leslie Odom Jr. Have a Lisp?

July 4, 2020
3 min read

Hamilton’ is certainly one of the most important productions in the 21st century. The musical’s live stage recording was sold for a whopping $75 million to Disney for exclusive rights. There are multiple reasons why ‘Hamilton’ found the success that it did. The musical is based on a biographical novel titled ‘Alexander Hamilton’ by Ron Chernow. It follows one of the founding fathers of the United States who isn’t mentioned in history textbooks much.

However, the reason the musical found incredible success is because of its revolutionary storytelling methods which also present some of the most engaging pieces of theater of all time. Modern storytelling methods are used to tell a story set in the past. Genres like R&B, hip hop, and even rap are combined with classical Broadway in a scintillating manner which proves to be extremely effective as well.

Next, ‘Hamilton’turns out to be a pivotal argument for the representation of non-White people in the arts. Non-Caucasian actors are cast in the role of Caucasian figures. One of the reasons for doing so is the subversion of racially discriminatory practices such as blackface. This is also explained by Lin-Manuel Miranda: “Our cast looks like America looks now, and that’s certainly intentional. It’s a way of pulling you into the story and allowing you to leave whatever cultural baggage you have about the founding fathers at the door.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the musical’s music. He also stars in the production as Alexander Hamilton. Leslie Odom Jr. plays Aaron Burr while other cast members include Phillipa Soo, Daveed Diggs, and Christopher Jackson. The musical was nominated for a record 16 Tony Awards, out of which it won 11.

Did Aaron Burr Have a Lisp? Or Was it Leslie Odom Jr.?

Several viewers have wondered whether Aaron Burr had a lisp after watching the musical. Now, there is no historical record (that we found) which suggests that Aaron Burr had a lisp or anything related to that. Hence, we cannot say with absolute certainty whether the historical figure had a lisp or not.

However, some sources have pointed out that Leslie Odom Jr. is the one who has a lisp. He is the one who plays the character of Aaron Burr and hence, it is easy to see how that would have created confusion in viewers’ minds. However, Leslie Odom Jr. does not have a lisp. The American actor was also seen in ‘Murder on the Orient Express,’ playing the character of Dr. Arbuthnot. Thanks to the success of ‘Hamilton,’ he has tons of other prominent projects coming up in the future too.

Hence, the answer to that question remains somewhat inconclusive. Leslie Odom Jr. does not have a lisp in real life, but Aaron Burr’s character seems to have one in the musical. Perhaps, the production made a creative choice to make Burr have a lisp in order to (in Miranda’s words) make you “leave whatever cultural baggage you have about the founding fathers at the door.” It ought to be remembered that the point of the musical was not historical accuracy. It was more symbolic and artistic. That is the reason non-White actors were cast in the role of Caucasian figures. Thus, there is perhaps some form of symbolism in Burr’s character having a lisp too.

Read More: How Did Alexander Hamilton Die?

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