You’d think the fact I haven’t seen the production of Hamilton: An American Musical would mean I couldn’t quite hit the “obsessive fan” level. But thousands of fans and I would disagree. After listening to Burn – THAT ballad that makes a musical just a sprinkle more special – I couldn’t stop clicking on the next song, the next song and the song after that. After all, true love can’t wait.
Written by the BRILLIANT (like seriously brilliant) Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton tells the story of Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton. (If you know the musical, you’ll have sung his name along with me just then.) And his story is inspiring, heartbreaking, frustrating. And really really captivating. The musical is told through the medium of rapping, the cast made up of many black and Hispanic actors so as to represent America. And rightly so. This musical is at the top with my favourites Wicked and Les Mis… And I haven’t even seen it yet.
I try to subliminally make my mum, brother and friends adore Hamilton (and it happily doesn’t go unnoticed), not just because the music is incredible, but because Hamilton is important. I’ll tell you why if you fancy it.
The females in this story are empowering in a lot of different ways. As they are in the history books. Eliza was kind with a big heart. In the history books we see women suppressed and stopped from being any more than that. (And being just that is just as acceptable too.) Eliza, however, created her own legacy- no one else did. Quiet and “lovely”, yes. But she wasn’t suppressed. And Angelica? Another female powerhouse: confident and self-assured, she shows the features some like to think are “unattractive” as more than endearing and charming. Incredibly stunning. And her character sings the brilliant lines: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. And when I meet Thomas Jefferson, I’m ‘a compel him to include women in the sequel.” *Claps furiously.*
How can the diverse casting not be something influential? Something important. As per usual Lin-Manuel Miranda is paving the way for the future. The musical tells the story of a trying time; an exciting time; a time of change. Why shouldn’t a reflection of America tell this story, when if it was truly translated into the 21st century, these would be the people telling it. It’s also another message Lin-Manuel is singing to us: Start representing the people better, world!
Hard work Vs. taking a break
A common theme of the musical is Alexander’s Hamilton work ethic. One of the most historic self-starters to have entered the world, Hamilton came from nothing, battled the worst and proved himself as he knew he would: “Just like my country, I’m young, scrappy and hungry.” While Hamilton shows us what working hard means, we see the consequences of not taking a break; of overworking. Alexander Hamilton lived an incredible life but we can learn what not to do from him. He’s a tragic hero who is hard to idolise whilst being very hard not to idolise.
I could go on for for ever and a day. It’s a musical that will live on to teach and inspire. Lin-Manuel Miranda engages the modern world – young and old – with history some of us might not want to listen to. We live in testing times and it’s hard to watch America right now. But this musical gives me hope in America and in words, too. Words have so much more power than we are ever taught. I’m just a little bit invested in this musical and it deserves every success coming its way. I hope the world starts listening a little more intently. Every song is monumental; every word is important. I’m not sure if I’d recommend listening to as many songs as I have without seeing the musical (I have no regrets), but if you don’t want spoilers but some incredible musical showstoppers, I recommend you listen to:
- You’ll Be Back
- The Schuyler Sisters
- My Shot
And now starts the saving of pennies for when Hamilton comes to London this year. Eek!
~ Kat ~
P.S. 15/21 ❤