Hamilton: An American Musical is a production which has seen a huge surge in popularity, received tremendous critical acclaim, and enjoyed box office success. The musical is a depiction of the life of one of the founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, and was inspired by a 2004 biography of him written by historian Ron Chernow.
The Story behind Hamilton
Hamilton is a musical which was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. After reading the 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton, Miranda initially wrote a rap about Hamilton. He would eventually go on to write the book as well as the music and it’s lyrics for the production of Hamilton.
The musical is composed of two acts. The first one begins with the cast summarizing what Alexander Hamilton’s life was like in an orphanage in the Caribbean. As the story unfolds, the audience gets to witness how an immigrant from the West Indies would go on to become the aide-de-camp (right hand man) of George Washington and play a crucial role during the American Revolution.
Hamilton explores the ups and downs of the journey of one of the nation’s most unlikely founding fathers. The story weaves its way through the Revolution, Hamilton’s relationship with George Washington, his life at home and how he became involved in the country’s first extramarital scandal, and his eventual appointment as the first Treasury Secretary of the nation.
The production is a sung-through, hip-hop and rap musical, which features a diverse cast of non-white actors. It aims to tell the story of the founding of America in a light which is different from that of traditional history textbooks.
Hamilton is a musical which has received unanimous critical acclaim since its premiere. The show has become a cultural phenomenon and tickets have completely sold out for its current run. It will make its highly anticipated debut at the West End in London in 2017.
Ben Brantley in his review of the Broadway production for The New York Times, wrote, "I am loath to tell people to mortgage their houses and lease their children to acquire tickets to a hit Broadway show. But Hamilton, directed by Thomas Kail and starring Mr. Miranda, might just about be worth it....”
Awards and Accolades
The show has earned several nominations and awards. It won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album, the 2015 New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards for Best Musical, and more.
It also received a record setting 16 Tony Awards nominations and won 11 of those including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Book of a Musical.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, for his performance as Alexander Hamilton, has also received widespread critical acclaim and recognition. He was awarded the 2016 Drama League Distinguished Performance Award and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
Keep your eyes peeled for when you can get to see the musical for yourself.