Hamilton – An American Musical is deemed a masterpiece by several entities, where it has won everything from a Pulitzer to a Grammy and it broke all records by winning 11 Tony Awards out of 16 nominations. Tickets are sold out far into next year, and current resale value ranges from $1,000 to $22,495 according to Playbill. Needless to say, this show is a good one.
The story of the nearly forgotten founding father embodies something unique; the story is based on Hamilton’s biography written by Ron Chernow and was casually picked up by Lin Manuel Miranda on his vacation from his Tony-winning success In the Heights. The cast represents the current population of the country – a good mixture of everything, and the music is contemporary including hip-hop, featuring the fastest rap on Broadway (Guns and Ships) as well at Beatles-inspired songs (You’ll be Back).
Most importantly, this show represents the issues that this country still faces today. These past few days have been especially horrendous with increased violence between the African American population and the police. Throughout, police officers have been let off easy despite taking innocent lives, where the reasoning for firing the gunshot comes down to one thing: racism. The Black Lives Matter movement represents the mistreatment and unfairness rooted from over 200 years ago when the founding fathers were still alive (most of them even had slaves).
Additionally, the show also loses a lot of characters to gun violence, which is another core issue in this country. Haven’t enough innocent people died? What if Hamilton hadn’t been shot? Would the country have been better off? Even Hamilton’s son lost his life to gun violence before turning 20. Luckily we’ve gotten better at handling things since the age of duels. There’s also a question in regards to the influence of the Schuyler sisters. If they were born today, they’d probably be running the country. These were strong, independent women that helped the men keep their heads on the right place.
Other issues include foreign policy – who to help, who to ignore, should American credit be competitive? Yes, this might seem like a boring topic coming out of the most popular musical of this decade, but overall the pitch for Hamilton isn’t really that great when you think about it. As Daveed Diggs stated when first hearing about the project”that’s a terrible idea”.
Overall, we walk out of the theater trying to determine if we’re Alexander Hamilton (I am not throwing away my shot!) or Aaron Burr (Wait for it), and have to make a decision about what we want our life to be. This country has been fighting the same issues for over 200 years, and essentially it all comes down to each individual and our responsibility to take a stand. It’s okay to not always voice an opinion, but standing on the sidelines and letting injustice happen is also a choice.
While Hamilton just said goodbye to some of the core cast (Lin Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr as Aaron Burr and Pillipa Soo as Eliza Schuyler Hamilton), I’m sure the new cast members won’t disappoint. I was lucky enough to see the final bows thanks to Tassie who had slept on the sidewalk to get tickets on Thursday night. I highly urge everyone to see the show – it makes you laugh, you cry, and most importantly – it makes you think. And then you laugh some more. Despite the shortage of tickets, there’s a digital lottery and a cancellation line every day. I assure you that you want to be in the room where it happens!