By Alex Larson
There is so much that can be said about the Broadway show that is, “Hamilton”. It is a combination between Public History and Hip Hop in a sense, however, it is also much more… it is a story. A story that helped shape the future of the United States. I myself have never been one to get interested in theatrics and Broadway, but something about seeing part of this play in class the other day, realizing that it dealt with history and provided a different view in which to see that history, had me wanting to learn much more and actually give at least the songs a good listening through.
The story is, of course (as the title of the show suggests), the story of one Alexander Hamilton and how he overcame a terrible past. This past which consisted of being an orphan, having the ones close to him die whether by suicide like his cousin, or sickness like his mother, led this man to having to break free, and break free he did. He had rose and grew from one of the worst down trodden childhoods a person had ever seen and developed into one of the founding fathers for the United States of America. This play also depicts Alexander’s downfall as well. It goes into depth about how Alexander lost himself and stepped out of the family picture. One track in particular called “The Reynold’s Pamphlet”, described the infidelity he caused, how it became too much for him, and why exactly he had to come clean with all the accusations he was facing. As if that was not enough, the musical continues with the depressive conclusion of the death of Alexander’s son and eventually his own death.
This play does not just focus on Alexander however. During the entirety of it, we are met by other figures in history. Many actors take on the roles of people that had an influential impact in the life of Alexander throughout his life. There are segments that involve Alexander’s closest friends Aaron Burr, John Laurens, Marquis de Lafayette, “The Schuyler Sisters”, and so much more. I think that giving the play different angles in which to see from, thanks to these numerous characters really helps the audience make their own assumptions about what had happened and why.
This play was written and produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also is the actor who portrays Alexander Hamilton within the show itself. Lin-Manuel did a phenomenal job, in my opinion, with the way in which this play was put together. It is one of the most interesting ways to learn about a completely new subject. I have never heard of Alexander Hamilton except for the basics on how he was a founding father and all his main escapades. But to combine his ENTIRE biography and a Broadway performance left me absolutely shocked. I do recommend this multi-award winning presentation to anyone that has the opportunity to see it or hear it.