Hamilton: The award-winning musical

NEW+YORK%2C+NY+-+JUNE+12%3A++Lin-Manuel+Miranda+and+the+cast+of+%27Hamilton%27+perform+onstage+during+the+70th+Annual+Tony+Awards+at+The+Beacon+Theatre+on+June+12%2C+2016+in+New+York+City.++%28Photo+by+Theo+Wargo%2FGetty+Images+for+Tony+Awards+Productions%29

Theo Wargo

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 12: Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of ‘Hamilton’ perform onstage during the 70th Annual Tony Awards at The Beacon Theatre on June 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

By Emily Driskel, Reporter

 

Growing up, my mom was a major musical fan, and I remember listening to musical soundtracks frequently. Soon enough, watching and listening to musicals became one of my passions as well. The first time I listened to a song from the Hamilton soundtrack was in 2016. Since then, I enjoyed listening to the music, but when I watched the musical for the first time last year, I became obsessed. 

The recorded performance of Hamilton came out on Disney+ on July 3, 2020. I watched the musical a few days later, and I listened to the soundtrack on repeat for a month after. Not only did the actors have beautiful voices, they were accomplished dancers. 

The film on Disney+ allowed the audience to experience the musical setting in a more personal way as the camera zoomed in on the characters as they performed. The talent of these individuals left me in awe as they told an important story of the history of our nation. While the musical was based on a historical time period, there was a hip-hop twist to the story.

Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards, setting a new record. 

Lin-Manuel Miranda, playing the main character Hamilton in the musical, wrote the show himself. He published the Hamilton Mixtape in 2012, and it soon expanded into a musical. When watching the musical, his passion and character are shown through his music. Although the show is based on true events, not all the events are true. The play is historical fiction, and some actions are left out. 

When casting for the musical, Miranda, as well as casting directors Bethany Knox and Bernie Tesley, wanted the cast to be diverse, despite the real people being white men and women. 

“Lin was pretty set on making sure the diversity was there to tell the story,” said Knox. “We really just started auditioning people, and the characters sort of fell into place.”

Aaron Burr, played by Leslie Odom Jr., was the narrator of the show, keeping the audience on track with the events in history that occurred in the musical. At the end, Burr is the one who kills Hamilton and the show gives the audience a hint as Burr sings the line “I’m the damn fool that shot him” in the first song. The audience walks with these two characters as they turn from friends to enemies. 

Elizabeth (Eliza) Hamilton, played by Phillipa Soo, was another key role in the storyline. As Alexander’s wife, the viewers walk through her journey of meeting Hamilton to having their first child to Hamilton’s affair to his death. The Hamiltons’ journey had many tragic moments from the affair to the death of their son, and the audience gets to see her dedication as a wife when she forgives him in the song “It’s Quiet Uptown.” 

The show covers a large timeline from about 1757 (in the first song “Hamilton”) when Burr explains Hamilton’s life before he arrived in America to 1854 (the last song “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story”) when Eliza dies.

 When I first watched the show, the musical seemed to go by fast despite the two hour show, and I soon lost track of the time.

I would give this musical a 10/10 and highly recommend Hamilton to any musical lovers. Even if you don’t usually like this category, the hip-hop/pop feel and the important historical characters make this musical unlike any other I have seen. The fast pace of the music, the powerful dancing numbers and the talented actors combined into one adds to the incredible story.