Do you guys know about Hamilton? For the unawares, Hamilton is a theatrical juggernaut that is currently running on Broadway, creating seismic shifts in musical theatre. It is hip-hop. It is historically accurate. It is musical theatre. It is dense as fuck. It is beautiful. It is ART. I saw it Wednesday, and I’ve been unpacking it ever since. I can’t stop.
The day after, I knew I liked it. The music is brilliant, but something about some of the staging of it, I thought could have been done better. Or clearer. or something. Not sure what it was. Transitions between scenes/songs felt a bit abrupt. Then I remembered it was originally called, “The Hamilton Mixtape,” and everything made sense. It was good.
Yesterday, I was able to finally download the soundtrack. I wept in my car 3 times, and I didn’t even finish it. I went into a store for an errand that took almost an hour. When I got back to my car and started the music again, I had tears streaming down my face in 60 seconds. 60 seconds!! I had no idea I had so many feelings, so close to the surface. I don’t remember what the drive home looked like; I was re-playing the show in my head. Come to think of it, this is probably dangerous. Noted.
Since I’ve seen the show, I have stayed like a crazy-person, watching Twitter for every bit of @HamiltonMusical and @Lin_Manuel Miranda news and clues and whatnot. I feel like the most stalkery girl ever. I need to stop. Well, I need to slow down. Not sure I can stop. I have so much respect for Mr. Miranda, and I just want to know how his brain works, that he can make the connection between the guy on the $10 bill and hip-hop culture and language. He knows his shit, both hip-hop-wise, and musical-theatre-wise. Hamilton is massive, and it’s all his fault. I just want to know how!!!!
A main theme in the show is the difference between Leslie Odom Jr’s calm, smooth, reserved Aaron Burr and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s kinetic, active Alexander Hamilton. Burr doesn’t state his beliefs; Hamilton can’t stop stating his. There’s a line that Hamilton “writes like he’s running out of time.” He always seems to be doing something; working something out. I have so many things I plan or want to do, but I often don’t know where to start. How does this happen for other people? These driven people—how are they motivated? How do they keep that motivation? The more I listen, and the more I think about it, the more of myself I see reflected in Aaron Burr. Is he the villain? I think the show does a great job of making that idea negotiable.
I think I’m Twitter (and tumblr and Instagram)-stalking Mr. Miranda to try to figure out that secret. Now he’s performing 8 shows a week, answering Twitter questions about the show, writing songs for Disney’s Moana, and starting on his next work of genius. (He jokes now that we’ll know what it is in 6 years, but he’s not telling us yet. Hamilton took 6 years to get from the first song to this fully realized force of nature.)
And the women! Such fantastic feminist women, trapped in 18th century rules of conduct. I will say nothing else, because I was surprised by it—I know this, because I felt my throat clench suddenly when I heard it—and I feel like you really need to see it without knowing everything. I knew he was Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, and he was killed in a duel by Aaron Burr. These are the things you learn in school—the dates and facts. This show humanizes so much of it; makes so much of it relateable to us here and now. So many of the lyrics are things we could say and feel about the world right now.
Next year’s 1776 revival is doing colorblind casting, and a big deal was made of it because of this show. Of course, this seems like 1776 is being a little silly, jumping on a bandwagon, but I think that’s just the way they promoted the casting call. We’ll see how they promote the rest of it.
This may actually be more closely-related to the newer production of Les Miserables that’s currently sharing a wall with Hamilton.
Holy crap it’s good, you guys. If you live in New York City or the tri-state area, it’s a must-see. The balcony seats—though a fantastic view—are quite cramped (not a lot of space between rows) but you will suffer because you will be witness to history.
Sorry to ramble, but I seriously could not go about my day and do what I need to, if I didn’t get this out.
ETA: I took the Which Schuyler Sister Are You? quiz and I got Angelica because Damn Straight.