The Founding Father who inspired a theatrical phenomenon, Hamilton, An American Musical. A tale retold using the magic of rap music and witty showtune lyrics that tackle even the most boring of political deal-making. Two Virginians and an immigrant walk into a room, diametrically opposed, foes. They emerge with a compromise, having opened doors that were, previously closed, bros… You had to be in the room where it happened, you have to get into the room where it happens.
“The music is exhilarating, but the lyrics are a big surprise.” – Variety
“Hamilton has near-universal critical acclaim” – The Economist
“The only thing Dick Cheney and I agree on.” – Barack Obama
Hamilton set his heart on achieving glory in the War of Independence and soon we find him capturing and captaining an artillery division, before becoming aide-de-camp to General George Washington, a non-combat role, that drove Hamilton to despair. Finally, he gets to return to the action, and in the last major battle of the war, he led a bayonet charge against besieged British forces in 1781 at Yorktown, leading to the decisive surrender of General Cornwallis’s army. In the same period, he co-founded the first bank in North America, married Elizabeth Schuyler, the daughter of a general, whom he had met the year before the battle, and with the war almost over, he resigned his commission to return to New York to join his wife and their son. There is never a slow moment throughout the show, it is filled from beginning to end with dramatic highs and lows, taking in revolution, a sex scandal, blackmail and death in a duel at the hands of the US vice-president.
The first premier of Hamilton was off-Broadway at the Public Theater in New York City, in 2015, where its several-month engagement was completely sold out, and won eight Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical. It moved onto Broadway later in 2015, to the Richard Rodgers Theatre, where it received almost perfect reviews from critics, receiving a record-breaking 16 nominations, and winning a staggering 11 awards, including Best Musical at the 70th Tony Awards in 2016. The musical also received the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the album of music won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album. The London West End production opened in 2017, winning seven Olivier Awards in 2018, including Best New Musical. The film of the show, captured at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Broadway, was released in July 2020, and became one of the most-streamed films of the year, it was named as one of the best films of 2020 by the American Film Institute, and was nominated for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy and Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy at the 78th Golden Globe Awards in 2020.
Review of Hamilton by Henry Hitchings for The Evening Standard.
“Miranda’s portrait of a ‘young, scrappy and hungry’ immigrant’s astonishing rise is, explicitly, a story of America’s abundant possibilities. It pictures the country’s Founding Fathers not as frozen marble monuments but as spirited, fallible and crafty, while making 18th-century politics seem as explosively immediate as a rap battle.
With its fresh take on the politics of opportunism Hamilton feels sharply topical, but it’s also the best kind of history lesson. True, there are a few dramatically expedient inaccuracies, but Miranda knows which liberties are worth taking, and he makes the past exciting. At the same time this is an extraordinarily uplifting vision of people from society’s margins becoming big hitters. In short, believe the hype.”