I could go on “Non-Stop” about Hamilton for days, let alone one 500 word blog post; so bear with me as I try to concisely hit the important points as to why everyone could be “Satisfied” if you’d just “Take a Break“ from your work and give Hamilton a “Shot.” And I promise, you won’t be able to “Say No To This.”
Remember our good friend Lin-Manuel Miranda (LMM) who I’ve referenced multiple times already, we’ve come to his most famous brain-child: Hamilton: An American Musical (which he not only wrote
and composed, but also starred in). I’m sure you’ve heard of it, I think most of the
country world has. LMM has forever changed broadway as well as many people’s perspective of the term “musical” as well.
Broadway hasn’t seen a popular musical that incorporates hip-hop since In the Heights (also written by… “Wait For It“ … none other than Lin-Manuel Miranda of course). But, now with Hamilton theres hip-hop as well as R&B and rap.
Yes. Rap and hip-hop. In a broadway musical. About American history. Sounds like a whole lot of crazy right? Except it’s not. It’s the most genius creation known to man (well, at least one of them).
Right off the bat the musical style should catch your eye. For most theatre haters, the reason for your opposition tends to be a dislike for the music. And I get that. All of that flowery singing, cheesy dancing, and overdramatic acting can get old sometimes. Hamilton is the opposite. I don’t know many other musicals with nine explicit songs on the soundtrack or two rap battles. Yes, there are the occasional ballads and slower songs but the rap very much outweighs the rest resulting in an overall average of 144 words per minute.
Daveed Diggs is Hamilton’s resident rap master topping the chart with a more than impressive 6.3 words per second with the fastest verse at 19 words in 3 seconds in “Guns and Ships.” But for all my ladies out there, Renee Elise Goldsberry shows some serious girl power with her rap in “Satisfied“ coming in at 5 words per second peaking at 121 words in a 24 second time span. So I think it’s safe to say that Hamilton is really like no other, at least not what most people expect a broadway musical to be.
If you can’t appreciate Hamilton for it’s contemporary take on music, and “We Know“ that not many people are in it for the historical content, take LMM’s modern approach to life into consideration.
What do I mean by this?
Well, think about it, you’re learning about the American revolution and our founding fathers and for once they’re not stuffy old white guys.
Although we live in an incredibly diverse nation, minorities are frequently unrepresented in entertainment, and especially on broadway. As the son of Puerto-Rican immigrants himself, LMM is a strong advocate (to say the least) for cultural diversity, and Hamilton is one of the many ways he allows this aspect of America to “Stay Alive.” Told in a time period comprised of all white figures, both male and female, Hamilton actually has only one white major actor. Every other character is portrayed by someone of color.
“This is a story about America then, told by America now” -Lin Manuel-Miranda
Seeing George Washington and Thomas Jefferson portrayed by
African-American actors may seem preposterous, and yet it’s so perfect. Just as Miranda claims in the quote above, this musical represents what America is today. Though this country was founded by white men, we are now a melting pot of all types of races and cultures; an extremely important facet of this nation.
Lin Manuel-Miranda clearly unites the past and present of America seamlessly through the visual and auditory aspects of Hamilton in a way that can be appreciated by a wide variety of people.
“History Has It’s Eyes On You“ and it’d really “Blow Us All Away” if you’d actually take a moment or two and listen to the soundtrack (which can be found almost anywhere you stream music), or even be able to see the musical (there may even be recordings of the live production that you can find on a certain video streaming website, but you didn’t hear it from me).
So, I’ll only ask this “One Last Time.” Just give it a chance and “That Would Be Enough.” Hopefully you’ll start to join the musical theatre culture and “You’ll Be Back“ for more suggestions later on!