ave you noticed an alarming amount of chatter about our founding fathers, or are you curious about the tweets ranting about how Thomas Jefferson is THE WORST? It may sound odd, but Alexander Hamilton has taken over the hearts of many Marian girls and has us dreaming of stepping foot into the Richard Rogers Theatre in NYC. This past July, I was lucky enough to snag a seat and witness the magic.
Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton: An American Musical” is a rap-inspired musical about the rise and fall of Alexander Hamilton. Yes, I did just say rap, musical and Alexander Hamilton in one sentence. It sounds a bit crazy, but the brilliant musical, originally starring Miranda and directed by Thomas Kail, is sold out through January of 2017, and tickets are going for as high as $1200. It’s a hefty price, but selling your kidney to get a hold of some tickets will be more than worth it.
“Hamilton” was No. 1 on Billboard’s rap charts for multiple weeks, nominated for a record-setting 16 Tony nominations, winning 11, including Best Musical, and was also the recipient of the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama.
It all started when Miranda picked up a biography of Hamilton’s life written by Ron Chernow while on vacation. Immediately, Miranda realized that this book screamed rap and hip-hop. Yes, rap and hip-hop. Hamilton’s story from rags-to-riches reminded Miranda of many great rappers’ lives. After about seven years of writing and rehearsing, “Hamilton” has become one of the biggest Broadway hits to take the stage, possibly ever. The musical follows Hamilton through his life: from him coming to America in 1773, fighting in the Revolutionary War next to his BFF George Washington, serving as our first secretary of the Treasury, committing our nation’s first sex scandal and dying an ironic death.
On July 9, Miranda, as well as many members of the original cast— Phillipa Soo, who plays Eliza Hamilton, Alexander’s wife and Leslie Odom Jr., who plays Aaron Burr, the man who basically becomes famous for (SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t opened a textbook in the past 12 years) killing Hamilton in a duel— performed the story of our founding fathers for the last time.
Although devastating for all “Hamilton” fanatics, the new cast has done a seamless job of taking over these coveted roles and making them their own.
The newest cast performed the musical so well that even a crazy obsessed “Hamilton” fan, such as myself, left the show on July 29 more than satisfied. Javier Muñoz, the new Hamilton, has adapted the role to portray the flirtatious side of our first secretary of the Treasury, a trait that gets Hamilton into trouble multiple times throughout his life. Similar to Miranda, Muñoz isn’t the best singer, but what he lacks in singing, he makes up for in emotion. Both an HIV and cancer survivor, Muñoz channels his fight to survive and portrays his own struggles through Hamilton— a recipe that makes for a brilliant performance. The new Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Chappelle, was laugh-out-loud funny along with his co-star, Rory O’Malley, who plays King George III.
The two provide some comic relief during the heartbreaking, tear-jerking parts of the show. Christopher Jackson, the original George Washington, and Anthony Ramos, who doubles as John Laurens and Hamilton’s son, Phillip, brought me to tears multiple times.
I was sobbing uncontrollably over our founding fathers (no shame) and wasn’t alone. Multiple sniffles and cries were heard throughout the theatre towards the end of the show.
I laughed, I cried, I got shushed for singing along, and I would do absolutely anything to see it again. The PMD (Post-Musical-Depression) after seeing “Hamilton: An American Musical” in late July was too real.