Over the summer, a filmed version of Hamilton: An American Musical was released on Disney +. When the show originally opened on Broadway on January 20, 2015, the musical quickly became a hit with the public, garnering wide acclaim and love with the younger generations.
The musical quickly shot up to the highly-esteemed ranks of all-time classics such as “Wicked” and “Les Miserables,” and received an impressive total of 11 Tonys, along with a record-breaking 16 nominations. Among the Tonys won were Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Actor in a Musical for Leslie Odom Jr., Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Daveed Diggs. And that’s not even mentioning the Grammy the musical won for Best Musical Theater Album.
Lin Manuel Miranda, who also played Hamilton in the Original Broadway Cast, took 7 years to write the musical (fun fact: the song, “One Shot”, took one year alone to write!).
I personally didn’t have too many expectations going in. I knew that it was about history, or more specifically, Alexander Hamilton. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I didn’t know too much about Hamilton, except that he was the Secretary of State and was one of the few Founding Fathers who didn’t become POTUS.
Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised and amazed after the first bars of “Alexander Hamilton.” I was hooked throughout, except for (SPOILER) parts about Hamilton’s adultery and his son. Those parts weren’t as compelling and interesting for me. I loved Lafayette (Daveed Diggs) the most out of the quartet consisting of Hamilton, Mulligan (Okieriete Onaodowan), Lafayette, and Laurens (Anthony Ramos). His rapping and singing are one of the major highlights of the musical in my opinion! Burr (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Angelica (Renée Elise Goldsberry) were also top favorites. Their songs and phenomenal talent will blow you away.
The emotional and humourous punches keep on coming- whether that be the beautifully sung ‘It’s Quiet Uptown’ by Hamilton and his wife, Eliza Hamilton (Philipa Soo), or the hilarious dancing and spit that accompanies King George’s (Jonathan Groff) three catchy numbers.
The sisterhood and camaraderie between the three Schuyler sisters shining in their introductory song, “The Schuyler Sisters”, was also amazing to see and listen to! In the modern age, it is still a rarity to see sisters (or diverse backgrounds, too!) fully dominate the stage- and with such grace and presence.
Truth be told, I loved each member of the talented cast. They brought the musical to life and left a lasting impression on me that will not fade over time.
One aspect that the musical really succeeded at was incorporating multiple cultures and music genres- along with history! -in a Broadway musical. The diverse cast was definitely something that we could see much more often in the higher stages of musicals and other art fields, such as movies and plays. I hope for even more diversity- expanding to the indigenous, Asians, and more- in the future!
Beautiful and passionate music, powerful rapping and beatboxing, racial diversity, and some of the catchiest, powerful, and unique songs are all featured wonderfully in the musical.
Watch Hamilton: An American Musical. You won’t regret it!
Information taken from Grammy, Broadway, The LA Times, and CNBC