Hamilton: What Is It & Why Do We Love It?

By Joanna Cosgrove

If you are a fan of musicals, history, or you just go on the Internet regularly, you must’ve heard about Broadway’s new hit show Hamilton.

What is Hamilton? Well, believe it or not, Hamilton is different from shows such as Grease, Hairspray, Rocky Horror and CatsHamilton is about history. America’s history.

The musical is named after historical icon Alexander Hamilton, and plays out his life alongside America’s founding fathers, such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, among other characters such as Aaron Burr, King George III and Eliza Schuyler Hamilton. Although dramatised and changed slightly, the story of Hamilton’s life became a quick hit in American theatres, moving from Off-Broadway to Broadway within 2015, and still touring to this day, despite playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda’s departure from the title role due to conflicting work.

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Hamilton’s got some good history behind it; especially the fact that American president Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were two of the first people to be aware of the project. In 2009, a young Lin-Manuel Miranda attended a poetry slam, and that’s where he announced his work on what was then only an album full of history-inspired numbers revolving around Alexander Hamilton. These weren’t any songs; they were upbeat, catchy R&B tunes where Miranda, among others, would show off his near-perfect rapping skills. In fact, Miranda debuted the musical’s opening number, “Alexander Hamilton”, at the poetry slam. Since then, for over five years, Miranda would continue pursuing this project of his, never giving up on the chance for success.

Fast-forward to 2015, when Hamilton’s Off-Broadway success bumps it up to Broadway – this was when everyone took interest. Hamilton became an Internet favourite, as mixing American history with R&B was sure to bring along some fans who will spend their spare time trying to sing and rap along to the tunes (including myself). However, 2015 was only the beginning.

Plans have been released that 2016 will see its continuation on Broadway, despite losing Lin-Manuel Miranda (Alexander Hamilton), Leslie Odom Jr. (Aaron Burr) and Phillipa Soo (Eliza Schuyler Hamilton), and then travel from New York to Chicago in September 2016. There was also the announcement of a full US tour of the production, performing in multiple states, starting in 2017. This is all very good for America, but what about us? Well…

News broke months ago that Hamilton is coming to the UK – more specifically, London. Hamilton will play to reopen the newly furbished Victoria Palace Theatre in October 2016. If this gathers your interest, tickets are on sale this November so save up for a night of greatness.

Finally, we must ask: what will become of Hamilton? Will it gather the fame and immortality of other musical hits?

Answer: it looks so.

With much attention, praise, and the record-breaking Tony wins in 2016, it looks like Hamilton will be a show for the ages. I would bet anything that it’ll be up there with Grease and Rocky Horror and such.

But how do I know? Guess we should… “Wait For It”.

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