“I am not throwing away my shot!”
Well, maybe I am? If you aren’t lucky enough to be a Broadway subscriber, have a friend in ticketing, or camp out for a day to be the 100th line to buy tickets—then its seems like you won’t be seeing Hamilton on the stage this year. The touring company of Hamilton is making its way down south, and has brought with it the insatiable Hamilton craze. But what is it about this particular Broadway show that has people buying tickets two years in advance, and sleeping on the cold hard ground instead of snug in their 2 X 4 apartments? After all, t’s just another one of those run of the mill musicals right?
On the surface Hamilton is about the triumphs, falls, and scandalous past of one of America’s founding fathers. In my opinion, what Hamilton is truly about is taking the traditional song and dance form of musicals, and redefining what that means and looks like.
It brings a unique form of realism to musicals that is relatable, powerful, and dynamic. It reshapes not only the way in which the musical is delivered but the power behind how the musical itself came to be. Anyone with Broadway knowledge knows that
On the surface Hamilton is about the triumphs, falls, and scandalous past of one of America’s founding father. In my opinion, what Hamilton is truly about is taking the traditional song and dance form of musicals, and redefining what that means and looks like. It brings a unique form of realism to musicals that is relatable, powerful, and dynamic. It reshapes not only the way in which the musical is delivered but the power behind how the musical itself came to be. Anyone with Broadway knowledge knows that—with the exception of The Lion King, Rent, and a handful of others—diversity is not a large staple within the musical theater genre. Many people of color have spoken to the unspeakably low chances they have at gaining a sizeable role on Broadway, much less having the opportunity to produce one.
Enter in Lin Manuel Miranda, who decided enough was enough, “put a pencil to his temple, connected it to his brain, and wrote his first refrain, a testament to his pain.” These lines from the Alexander Hamilton musical seem to be the catalyst to telling this entire journey. When you tire of waiting for someone else to tell your story for you, you find the means, and begin to tell your own story. I believe this is one of the fundamental truths that is at the heart of Hamilton’s core. Taking what life has dealt you at this moment, but not letting that define who you are and who your going to be.
Maybe its not proverbially picking yourself up by your bootstraps, but it is encouraging you to take hold of your circumstances, and advance the best way you can. Alexander Hamilton was a bastard, orphan and a son of a…”lady of the night”, who used his friends and the military to rise up to the occasion presented to him. Combine a powerful prose like that with the dueling words of rap, and people are sure to cling onto every word. Not to mention the most incredible, wholly molly diverse cast ever seen in the history of musicals.
This is another reason that as a person of color, I thoroughly enjoy Hamilton and think its what make itself so special across the board. The casting of Hamilton— while not historically accurate— is still visually stunning, and entirely believable. Furthermore, it proves that the musical genre as a whole can be more accepting when it comes to giving out roles to people of color. Any genre that can adapt to present day ideals and continue to be transformed with its sights and sounds is one worth paying attention to. Hamilton in its effect has brought an entire new audience of people to the musical genre, extended opportunities to people of color, and has a new badass sound that is encompassing.
In my book,a musical like that is worth being called revolutionary!