Who lives, who dies, who tells your story.
I am one of the many people who have never seen Hamilton live. A while back it came to Pittsburgh for a month and sold out immediately. However, my sister listens to the soundtrack all the time and therefore, so have I during many car rides.
I can’t say I was AS hyped as she was but was still looking forward to it. I will mention some “spoilers” but considering it’s been around for hundreds of years…I won’t mention everything.
Tell Your Story
The story follows Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of The United States and how he went from a scrappy, young guy fighting in the Revolutionary War to eventually helping with the Constitution and being a member of Washington’s Cabinet.
It also tells the story of Aaron Burr who also fought in the Revolutionary War and eventually became Vice President and how his story connects to Hamilton.
The beginning of the musical is around the start of the Revolutionary War and ends near Alexander Hamilton’s death with a lot in between. You don’t have to be a history buff, or even know America’s history, to watch Hamilton. Because it’s different from other musicals, it keeps your attention even when not as much “action” is going on in these people’s lives. And a lot of that is because of the music.
I am so happy I finally got to see the context behind the music. A good example is King George III’s songs. I had no idea what was going on with them (I also didn’t pay enough attention to the lyrics aside from the “Da dada da da” parts) and I’m just happy to know what was going on.
Speaking of, Johnathan Groff (who plays King George) made the most out of his part. Despite only being in the musical a few times to basically let us know his thoughts during the war, I remember him.
I laughed more when he was on screen than other time, with the exception of Daveed Diggs playing Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, who is also a stand-out, along with the Schuyler Sisters and their performances.
For me, it felt like Act 1 went by very fast and Act 2 slowed down a bit. I remember more of Act 2 but that’s more of a personal thing.
There are people saying it doesn’t mention everything about these people like the fact that they owned slaves but want to end slavery. Lin-Manuel Miranda wanted to be accurate even down to the clothes and words they use, but considering this is only a 2 1/2 hour musical about someone’s entire life, not everything can be included.
I was never a huge fan of history classes in school. Memorizing that information never stuck with me, but if I learned it in a way like Hamilton shows, I probably would’ve done better. It kept my attention and I wanted to see what happened (even though I should already know this stuff.)
However, there are things most people don’t know, like Hamilton’s wife, Eliza, and the work she did after he died. Even after his cheating ass lied to her, she still stuck with him and kept his work so the world would know his story. And that’s just one, tiny part of her life.
Alexander Hamilton, as well as most of the Founding Fathers, weren’t good people. He was egotistical and was more concerned about leaving a legacy, but the musical isn’t trying to convince you he is. It’s just telling his story.
Even though I have seen the move version, I’d still see it live. If anything, it’s making more people speak up about releasing archived footage of musicals, letting people who can’t afford to see them in real get a chance to experience it, and just bringing more attention to musicals in general.
Hamilton is a lot of fun, informative, and is worth a watch.