The Hamilton Musical: A Review

By: Dubem M.

The recent musical, Hamilton, is a representation of the evolution of American politics. Doesn’t seem like musical material though right? Yes, the odd subject did raise some eyebrows, according to Lin-Manuel Miranda (writer and actor in Hamilton), even the Former-President Obama was sceptical when he was informed about the musical’s production. Nevertheless, Hamilton developed into a world-renowned piece, and its legacy will surely echo for years to come.

Hamilton, the musical, was thought up by musical genius Lin-Manuel Miranda, who worked on pieces on Disney’s Moana and The Little Mermaid to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and another musical In the Heights, which eventually won 4 Tony Awards. Miranda wanted to bring light to America’s tremulous development in an entertaining and dramatic way. He decided to write Hamilton based on hip hop. Yes, hip hop. When you think colonial America, hip hop is usually not the first thing that comes to mind, however, Miranda was not deterred. Inspired by Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, Miranda was surprised that nobody had already created a hip hop historical amalgam starring Alexander Hamilton, so he got to work. When Miranda was questioned why he chose Hamilton as his topic, he responded that nobody is “more hip hop than [Alexander Hamilton].”

This musical tells the story of the titular character, Alexander Hamilton, after he returned from war and goes into law and later the government as he attempts to make the world a better place for him and other immigrants like him. As Hamilton encounters Aaron Burr and other nationalist reformists, Alexander accumulates a group of close friends that become his new family. The musical truly picks up the ante when Alexander first meets the Schuyler Sisters and he falls in love with the middle sister Eliza Schuyler. The musical represents as Alexander attempts to juggle his attempts to forge a functional American governmental system. Emotions run high throughout the musical.

Hamilton has an unmistakably marvellous soundtrack. This is likely due to the fact that the first two songs in the musical took Miranda a year to compose, each! The musical was initially meant to be a mixtape, however, as the work progressed, it naturally developed into a full scale musical that went on to be on Broadway. Unlike many musicals, Hamilton is nearly entirely sung. There is only one scene in the entire musical that is not sung and that was done specially for the emotional burden it put on the titular character. Additionally, Hamilton has featured emotive and moving pieces all throughout the musical. Personally, “Satisfied,” “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” “Burn” and definitely the “Stay Alive (Reprise)” are the most heartbreaking songs.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s newest musical has earned a multitude of critical acclaim. The play won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and even eventually won 11 Tonys in one night coming a close second to the record breaking “The Producers” that won 12 Tonys in one night in 2001. According to the Variety, the “music is exhilarating” but the “big surprise” is in the lyrics. It went on to extol the adaptability and the understanding that is being displayed in the sung dialogue of every character. The musical was loved so much that Ben Bratley, a writer for The New York Time, “I am loath to tell people to mortgage their houses and lease their children to acquire tickets to a hit Broadway show. But Hamilton, directed by Thomas Kail and starring Mr. Miranda, might just about be worth it”.

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