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EXCLUSIVE: ‘Hamilton’ Stars Talk Worst Audience Experience and ‘Law & Order’ Rite of Passage

by Stacy Lambe 10:30 AM PST, February 02, 2016
Photo: NBC

An undeniable Broadway hit, Hamilton has become the hottest (and hardest) ticket to get, with fans offering firstborns and marriage proposals in hopes of nabbing a seat.

Needless to say, the Richard Rodgers Theatre is packed during every performance. "It's so dense," Daveed Diggs, who portrays Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the biographical production about Alexander Hamilton, tells ETonline. "People are really leaning in to catch everything."

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Despite the fandom surrounding the show, Diggs says the "audience is pretty quiet" as they try to catch all the lyrics in the hip hop-influenced songs. "In other shows, everyone seems to have a coughing fit at the same time," he says, "but we don't get a lot of that."

However, the show hasn't gone on without its disturbances. "We did get somebody on their phone during the whole show," Anthony Ramos, who stars as John Laurens and Hamilton's eldest son, Philip, recalls, feeling the tension among the company on stage. "People were upset. Though, I thought it was pretty funny."

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In fact, it sounds like the most distracting thing is when the audience mouths along to the lyrics. "I have to not look at the audience lip-syncing in the front row," Ramos admits, with Diggs adding that it's gotten worse since the cast album was released.

Ice-T as Det. Odafin Tutuola and Kelli Giddish as Det. Amanda Rollins with Anthony Ramos as Juan. Photo: NBC

While both actors are busy with their Broadway debut, it hasn't stopped them from making the all-important guest appearance on the Law & Order franchise -- a rite of passage for New York actors. "I was like, 'Yes, I've made it,'" Ramos says of his upcoming episode on Special Victims Unit, "Forty-One Witnesses," in which he plays an accused rapist. "My agent told me, 'Every great actor got started on Law & Order.'"

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"Idris Elba thanked Law & Order when he accepted his SAG Award," he continued, "and I hope that's me thanking Law & Order someday."

For Diggs, it's his second appearance as Counselor Henderson, a character the actor is hoping to reprise again on the series. "It's great to get these Masters classes from the cast," he says of his time on set. "Now, I share a common ground with these people who I've seen so much on TV."

Daveed Diggs as Counselor Henderson and Raúl Esparza as ADA Rafael Barba. Photo: NBC

Back in September, when ETonline caught up with Mariska Hargitay on the set, she gushed over having Hamilton HaHadactors on the show. "It was like SVU: The Musical," Hargitay joked about filming with Diggs and his co-star Leslie Odom, Jr. just a day prior. The two appeared on the October episode, "Community Policing," marking the first Hamilton TV reunion.

"Hamilton changed my life," Hargitay said of the show.

Diggs and Ramos' guest-starring appearance premieres on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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