Hamilton is a Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer prize-winning makeover of the historian Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton in 2004. It also brought accolade after accolade, award after award and built it to the status it richly deserves. Miranda was so inspired, that he wrote it as a musical. A box-office runaway success, Hamilton is a hip-hop musical that has wowed the world.
Lin-Manuel Miranda weaves a musical interlude as the improbable founding father whose determination to etch a mark on America, which was as famished and ruthless as he was.
A new musical obsession, Hamilton is among the most popular Broadway musicals. However, most of its passionate enthusiasts have never really been among the audience.
In 2015, when the curtains went up on the big opening night in New York, there was a hush as the innovative musical began to reveal the life of the American Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton, against the backdrop of the American Revolution. A complete sell-out, it was awarded the prestigious and most sought after Pulitzer Prize for drama.
How ‘Hamilton’ Began
The playwright, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s interest in Hamilton was challenged when he submitted an assignment in high school about the 1804 duel between Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr. It reminded him of old-school rap rivalries.
Later, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspired to write a musical after reading a copy of “Alexander Hamilton,” a 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. As the work evolved, he sang a song which was destined to become “Hamilton” in 2009 at the White House. A couple of years later, excerpts from “The Hamilton Mixtape,” the “Hamilton” song opened Lincoln Center’s annual American Songbook series, making it a name to reckon with in the music world.
From zero to hero
‘Hamilton’ is the merging of historical facts and music pieces into a stellar stage performance. At the crux of this revolutionary multi-award winning new musical is the tale of founding father Alexander Hamilton. It was his driving ambition that took him from being a poor orphan Caribbean outsider to being a champion, from a rebel to a war hero to being the right hand of George Washington. He was the affectionate husband who was trapped in the America’s first sizzling sex scandal. He further controlled and supervised the Treasury, allowing he American people to put their trust in their economy.
Along the line, Alexander Hamilton changed the shape of the history of America and inspired every American to follow their destiny and make the American Dream come true.
In the spotlight. Star Performers.
Hamilton Cast and Creative Team
Hamilton employs a cast of non-conventional, non-white actors to portray the story of the founding father of America in a way that is very different from conventional history textbooks. Hamilton is produced by The Public Theatre, comprising Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs and Jill Furman. Its creative team includes the Director Thomas Kail, Designer David Korins and Lighting Designer Howell Binkley. The Musical is choreographed by the brilliant Andy Blankenbuehler and costume-designed by none other than Paul Tazewell. The Musical comes alive with sound design by Nevin Steinberg.
Lin-Manuel Miranda – A Legend
The spotlight falls on the stellar performance of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the playwright and lyricist, who acts the key role of Alexander Hamilton. His daring oratory skills leave its audience gaping.
A Mac Arthur Fellow, his credentials speak for themselves. Hailing from Puerti Rican descent, Lin-Manuel Miranda was born in New York City is an award winning a writer and a performer. His “In the Heights” musical production won him the Tony Award when he was just a sophomore in college, where he also starred. He also rapped his acceptance speech at the Grammys.
Hamilton Supporting Cast
Supporting Lin-Manuel Miranda on stage is an outstanding, multi-talented cast of his co-stars. The troupe consists of crooners, rappers and dancers, who skilfully enact the Founding Fathers’ era in America. Smash's brilliant performer Leslie Odom Jr. who acts as Hamilton's rival, Aaron Burr murdered Hamilton in notable struggle.
The roles of Angelica and Eliza Schuyler are played by Renee Elise Goldsberry and Philippa Soo, respectively, in dazzlingly witty and sparkling performances. Aaron Burr is played by Leslie Odom Jr, who combines ambition, charm, hubris and a calculating side in a performance of amazing depth. Three of the primary cast members of the original troupe remain the Off-Broadway production: Miranda, Daveed Diggs, and Christopher Jackson. Most of the original Off-Broadway cast moved to Broadway, except Brian d'Arcy James, who was replaced by Jonathan Groff as King George III.
Even though, some of these names are not well known, their unrivalled performance has won the hearts of theatre-goers, winning them the coveted and prestigious awards.
This racially diverse cast offers a hip-hop-inspired recapping of the United States' revolutionary history, interspersed by dramatic, character-driven stories of determination and vengeance.
Like a hit-parade of the top-of-the-charts, a roster of blue-chip rolls out on the red carpet on Broadway. A flexible run of “Hamilton” is scheduled to begin in Chicago this fall. It also has a separate national tour set for 2017.
Among the most high-profile audience members to see it at the Richard Rodgers Theatre have been President Obama and his daughters, Sasha and Malia. First Lady Michelle Obama's returned a second time with them.
Ranking high on the fan list is Jay Z and Beyonce; Samuel L Jackson Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Vice-president Joe Biden Denzel Washington, Cate Blanchett, Bill Gates, Jennifer Lopez, Director of The Force, JJ Abrams, Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren and more.
Smashing Records. Hamilton Awards
‘Hamilton’ is spearheading the biggest critical and commercial hits in the history of Broadway as it was selected for a record-breaking 16 Tony Awards ‘16 event. It bagged 11 awards counting the one highest prize for the Best Musical.
It also won a host of awards for: From Costume Design of a Musical by reputed Paul Tazewell to Lighting Design of a Musical, Howell Binkley, there were many more. Renée Elise Goldsberry won a place as a Featured Actress in a Musical and opposite her role, the Featured Actor in a Musical was Daveed Diggs. Of course, the multi-talented Lin- Manuel Miranda scored with the Original Score as well as Book of a Musical along with the Direction of a Musical by Thomas Kail and Alex Lacamoire bagged the award for Orchestrations.
Andy Blankenbuehler took the award for Choreography and the Leading Actor in a Musical went to Leslie Odom, Jr. Hamilton also won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album.
Other awards include the Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History and the George Washington Book Prize.
Featuring Broadway Production Reviews
- "Hamilton is a magnificent tapestry where all the elements of theatre are called upon to be their very best...The end result is something much more than the story of one man. It is the story of how we each create our destiny and our mark on the world. You leave the theatre thinking about what you would like to do that you have not done. You leave the theatre filled with possibility."
- "Hamilton makes us feel the unstoppable, urgent rhythm of a nation being born.”
- “A hip-hop musical about American history?” you’ll scoff. "Historic. Hamilton is brewing up a revolution. This is a show that aims impossibly high and hits its target. It's probably not possible to top the adrenaline rush."
- Ben Brantley, The New York Times.
Got Hamilton? Got Milk?
In this satire, Leslie Odom Jr., who enacts Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical "Hamilton", mocks the infamous "Got Milk?" commercial from 1993.
How interesting it is to learn about American history, through song and music.
Hamilton is intriguing. After witnessing it, Wikipedia and other related sites will quickly fill Google searches. Every strategic intricacy the Federalist Papers, the Battle of Yorktown and several duelling traditions of the 18th century come alive here. After intermission, the restless lawful battles of the burgeoning United States are captured. An infiltrator, disguised as a spy, Hercules Mulligan is revealed. He passed on secrets from British army to the American rebels. In reality, he had a slave and a Man Friday, Cato who took on a key role.
However, Miranda twisted a few facts. In a huge theatrical instant, he conveyed the concept of Angelica Schuyler, who was a single child, could not marry Hamilton, in spite of their palpable joint magnetism, as she had to marry into wealth. Essentially this was not accurate. In reality, Angelica, who hailed from a large family, including many brothers, was already married, when she met Hamilton. This itself portrayed that she was not free to associate with him on those lines.
Social Media Trawl
The internet for YouTube clips, gifs and any other possible visual clues to the show
While not much of the show is available online to watch, there are enticing snippets across the web, especially on YouTube and Tumblr.
The videos and films of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the playwright and celebrity of Hamilton which is seen in social media, namely YouTube, appear on the cue of the spoken word at the musical event. This event was staged in 2009 at the White House. Here he performs an initial version of the refrain about Hamilton. This effort went on to become the musical’s inaugural song.
The interludes rave of dramatic irony and sardonic references to the future relationship between America and Great Britain. The costumes are amazing reflecting the period with velvet frock coats and knee britches. This is a complete contrast to the hip-hop musical style. The set forms a backdrop of exposed brick and wooden scaffolding. Lighting is warm and suggests candlelight, typical of the times. Almost the entire musical is sung, with very little dialogue.
History is generally boring, especially for students. However, Hamilton history is making musical waves. This is the perfect way for students to learn and appreciate historical facts through song and dance. The Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York offers an elective course for 11th and 12th graders on the musical Hamilton. A high school teacher from the Bronx observed that his students were "singing these songs the way they might sing the latest release from Drake or Adele." ‘Hamilton’ has revolutionized the teaching of history in schools though this musical even though it was not America’s finest hour. In contrast, in British schools plenty of historical facts have been glossed over.
Legacy and impact
In 2015, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced a redesign to the $10 bill, with plans to replace Hamilton with a then undecided woman from American history. Because of Hamilton's surging popularity, mainly due to the musical, United States Treasury Secretary Jack Lew reversed the plans to replace Hamilton's portrait, instead deciding to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the$20 bill.
A Hot Sell-out
“Hamilton” started performances on Broadway in July, selling over 200,000 tickets in advance and bringing in almost $30 million. It has continued to be a box-office powerhouse, nipping at the heels of blockbuster musicals like “Wicked” and “The Lion King” to become one of the highest-grossing shows now on Broadway.
Sound of music
An all musical performance, Hamilton showcases memorable numbers from the beginning to the end. If you chance to listen to the Original Cast Recording, which can be sourced from iTunes or Spotify, you will be amazed to see the tale of Hamilton unfolds, in one delightful sweep. This does not even mention the involvement of actors, their precise dialogue and catchy music.
Not only is the show spectacular, the soundtrack is amazing. Every lyric of the songs has been set to amazing music. Except for 'Blow Us All Away' for the first time in public. After hearing it you will also agree that the best song is 'Wait For It'.
Hamilton" does not just recount the revolutionary acts. It is revolutionary. "Hamilton" is based on white historical figures, the cast is noticeably diverse. Using wide spectrum skinned actors, with the amazing music has allowed Kendra James to write The Toast, "younger students who hear or see this musical
It's superior to "The Book of Mormon."
There have been many comparisons made to "The Book of Mormon" and "Rent" and even "Billy Elliott". Every other musical has managed to rustle attention outside of the typical musical fans. However, "Hamilton" is in a class of its own! It ranks among one of the most talked about Broadway shows since “The Book of Mormon” in 2011. The reason? It’s a dramatic uniqueness of flair and flourishes.
Featured in Hamilton are Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. ' With a $30-million advance and word of mouth not heard since 'Book of Mormon', is Hamilton really as good as all that, Hamilton “aims impossibly high and hits it's target.” in its original Broadway production.
It is a critically applauded work, composed by a young musician, which has culturally impacted the world, way beyond the 40 theatres of Broadway. A national touring production is scheduled to begin in San Francisco in March 2017.
The musical will also be opening at The West End in October 2017, reopening the Victoria Palace Theatre which is currently being refurbished following the closure of the long-running show, Billy Elliot.
Hamilton – Broadway show
The historic and memorable Broadway musical Hamilton originated off-Broadway at the Public Theatre. In no time at all it moved to Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre where it opened on 6 August 2015. Now it is making international headlines!
Hamilton, the Musical is directed by Thomas Kail and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler. It is the recipient of international appreciation at its premiere Off-Broadway at The Public Theatre, selling out 119 performances. Chernow served as historical consultant to the production. Celebrities from all streams attended the show, making it one of the most attended by luminaries. The audience read like a ‘who’s who’ roster: from Madonna in the world of music to Dick Cheney in politics to Jake Gyllenhaal in Hollywood.
Hamilton has a separate resident (non-touring) production at the Private Bank Theatre in Chicago which started in previews on September 27, 2016; its opening performance was October 19. Thomas Kail is the Director of Hamilton. It is sold out through March 21, 2017, and later tickets will eventually be made available. According to lead producer Jeffrey Seller, the show may be in residence for two years or more. On it's opening, attended by author Miranda, the Chicago production received strongly positive reviews.
Hamilton goes to London in 2017
Targeting its next performance at the recently redecorated Victoria Palace Theatre in London November 2017, Hamilton will open at the refurbished Victoria Palace Theatre. An official Press Conference has been scheduled for the 1st of December 2017.
First U.S. National Tour (2017) of the Musical
Plans for a national tour of Hamilton emerged near the end of January 2016. Scheduled to play for 21 weeks at the SHN Orpheum Theatre, in San Francisco, the touring production is estimated to commence in March 2017. The production will then head to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. It will run from August 11 to December 30, 2017. Cities
on this route include Atlanta; Boston; Costa Mesa, Calif.; Des Moines; Denver; Houston; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City; Seattle; St. Louis; Tempe, Ariz., and Washington.
West End (2017)
Cameron Mackintosh will produce a London production which will re-open the Victoria Palace Theatre (currently undergoing a refurbishment following the closure of Billy Elliot Tickets go on sale in January 2017.
Ticket sales from November 2016
Cash registers start ringing in the month of November 2016, in anticipation of the much awaited Musical to feature at the Victoria Palace Theatre. The theatre, which is currently undergoing an extensive facelift, was home to the 11 years running British musical ‘Billy Elliot’. One of the two West End theatres, it is situated in the renovated and revamped part of Victoria. The building is being modernized and restored for Hamilton. A teaser signage is placed in front of the Victoria Palace Theatre. This serves as a platform to display the current iconic representation to London spectators and guests to the area.
In sheer excitement for Hamilton, fans are waiting to purchase tickets for the London production one year in advance. Trials are open for the West End production of Hamilton and the results of the auditions will be announced in early November 2016.
Future Productions of the play
- Hamilton goes to Toronto, Canada! Mirvish Productions announced this much-awaited news in June 2016!
- The musical's date at the Off-Broadway Public Theatre was a total sell-out.
- When the musical opened on Broadway, it had a multimillion-dollar advance in ticket sales, reportedly taking in $30 million before its official opening. As of September 2015, the show has been sold out for most of its Broadway engagement.
- Hamilton, like other Broadway musicals, offers a lottery before every show. Twenty-one front row seats and occasional standing room are given out in the lottery. Chosen winners are able to purchase two tickets at $10 each. Actress Renee Elise Goldberry, who takes on the role of Angelica Schuyler, commented, "Hamilton is a story about America, and the most beautiful thing about it is that it is told by such a diverse cast with such diverse styles of music." She added, "We have the opportunity to reclaim a history that some of us don't necessarily think is our own." The creator insists that all of the Founding Fathers be played by people of colour, i.e. non-white, and is open to women playing as the Founding Fathers]