Perhaps you have heard of Alexander Hamilton. He was a lawyer, senior officer of the Army, chief aide to George Washington, writer of the Federalist papers, prominent promoter, and interpreter of the United States Constitution, and the first Secretary of Treasury. In addition to being a founding father of the United States of America, he also founded the Federalist Party, American economic and financial systems, the United States Coast Guard, and the New York Post. Even today, 200 years later, he is on the ten dollar bill and the star of one of the biggest shows on Broadway.
“Hamilton: An American Musical” debuted in January of 2015 and has been a smash hit ever since. Shows are sold out all the way through January of 2017 and for good reason. “Hamilton” has received 16 Tony nominations including Best Musical, setting a new record for most Tony nominations. The musical has already won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama and 2016 Grammy award for Best Musical Theater Album.
Much of the show’s success stems from its hip-hop music and racial diversity. It is sure to give you a thrilling new perspective on history, America, and the founding fathers. The story line follows the life and death of Alexander Hamilton, but audience members will recognize other famous characters including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Aaron Burr. As the NY Times review writes, “The show is most directly about the life and death of Alexander Hamilton, but it is more broadly, and boldly, about America itself — its origins and its aspirations — as it deftly uses contemporary music and a multi-ethnic cast to suggest that the revolutionary impulses of the nation’s founding generation are as relevant and as riveting today as they were in the 18th century.”
Writer, composer, and lead actor, Lin-Manuel Miranda has revolutionized the relationships between past and present, history and Broadway, the American Revolution and hip-hop with this fresh, unconventional, and highly successful show. The MacArthur Fellowship website, of which Miranda is a 2015 recipient of their “Genius Grant,” describes how Miranda uniquely coupled street culture with Hamilton’s story to elicit the “youthful, defiant spirit of the American Revolution” and varying ethnic casting to relate “the present day to the diverse immigrant society of the thirteen rebel colonies.” “Hamilton” has already begun to transform Broadway, attract new audiences, and inspire innovative approaches to theater and history.
Even though it is sold out, there are still a couple ways you can see the show. View your best options at this website.
If you cannot wait to see the musical or learn more about Alexander Hamilton, you can read the biography that the musical is based on, available at the Aurora Public Library: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.
Or these other Alexander Hamilton titles also available at the library:
Alexander Hamilton led such an interesting life, not limited to a scandalous affair, dramatic duel, untimely death, and lasting legacy, that his biography is a must-read, the audio book a must-hear, the show a must-see, and the soundtrack a must-listen!