Prediction: Hamilton will win the 2016 Tony for Best Musical in June.
The Broadway musical Hamilton was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda who previously won a Tony in 2008 with The Heights. After reading the popular biography of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow Miranda decided to turn it into a musical. A book about an 18th Century founding father doesn’t exactly scream Broadway musical. If you can make that leap of imagination it’ll take a pole vault in order to ad hip hop into the mix. Whenever I try to describe it to people I always start out with something akin to “I know the idea is going to sound strange and you’d never think hip hop and the Revolutionary war would go well together but…” In the age of racial scrutiny and #Oscarsowhite Hamilton’s unique mix of American history and modern beats are a welcomed and needed breathe of fresh air. Hamilton is a truly unique concept and oddly a musical about the 18th Century feels like one of the most modern things I’ve heard in a long time.
Nothing impresses me more than original and creative ideas even though they are very hard to come by. When my boyfriend Russ told me about a new hip hop musical that told the life story of Alexander Hamilton I was excited because it was an idea I had really never heard before. The history geek in me also got excited for the possibility of learning something new while being entertained. Furthermore Russ, who is not a fan of hip hop music, loved it which prived that this music must be special. Last week I finally got a chance to listen to the soundtrack from beginning to end and I instantly fell in love. I can talk at length about the creativity of the concept but at the end of the day it all comes down to the quality of the music. If the music and story were awful then none of this would matter. As I’m writing this I’m listening to the soundtrack again for about the 4th time and it’s honestly wonderful. The first time I listened to it I was working late at the office. Luckily most of my coworkers had gone home because tears were streaming down my face as I listened to the song It’s Quiet Uptown. There are a number of great songs but Wait For It is clearly the stand out. If show tunes got radio play it would be the first single. As 2016 goes on you are only going to hear more about Hamilton so I highly recommend giving it a listen.
If you’re in the New York area and want to see Hamilton in person then you better have your credit card handy because it’s not going to be cheap. The show is an enormous hit and tickets very hard to come by. The cast was even featured in Vogue magazine. This past Christmas I tried to get Russ and I tickets while we were in Connecticut and the cheapest I found were over $400 a ticket. At the time I hadn’t heard much of the music yet so I (correctly) decided to save my money. If given the opportunity now I don’t know if I’d have as much self control.
Photos courtesy of Vogue and Google.