The 15 or 20 minutes before the performance ticked by the same way they do on nights when Rome Neal presides over jazz at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. But this time Mr. Neal was directing a reading of a play. It takes aim at the sensation that is the theatrical juggernaut “Hamilton” and its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda.
So this was different from the jazz nights. There was no music, in contrast to the rap-infused lyrics of “Hamilton,” one of the biggest critical and commercial successes in Broadway history.
The play, “The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda,” was written by Ishmael Reed, 80, a prolific and often satirical writer who, as a critic reviewing one of his books once said, “has made members of every constituency angry” during his long career.
Mr. Reed’s most recent work should prove to be no exception.
“The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda” targets “Hamilton,” the play, and “Hamilton,” the best-selling biography by Ron Chernow, which inspired Mr. Miranda. The program handed out at the reading said, “The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda” was “about a playwright who is misled by a historian of white history into believing that Alexander Hamilton was an abolitionist.”