Lately, I find myself and other "Hamilton" fans saying, "I will never be satisfied until I see "Hamilton"!", "The "Hamilton" mixtape is coming out in November... I'm willing to wait for it!", or other similar sayings that integrate lines from "Hamilton". People are not only falling in love with the musical but also the author of the show, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Terms such as "Cinnamon roll," "Linamon roll," and "Hamilton Trash" have become increasingly popular on the internet. So why is it that so many people are obsessing over this musical? Here are 10 reasons why "Hamilton" is so successful:
1. Lin-Manuel Miranda
Playwright, composer, Tony Award winner and father are just a couple terms that begin to describe the accomplished, incredible man that is Lin-Manuel Miranda. Lin has been said to be the modern Shakespeare. This comparison has not been refuted because of Lin's undeniable talent. His astounding characterization of Hamilton would be enough for people to love and praise Lin, but he is not only the title character he also wrote the entire show. The lyrics, score and book were all written by the talented man. This incomprehensible task took Lin seven years to complete, but the outcome was the most amazing production to grace the Richard Rogders' stage. Lin, outside of all his accomplishments on stage and as a writer, finds time to be an amazing father and husband while still connecting with fans through #ham4ham shows, Facebook, and Twitter.
2. A Hip Hop and Rap Musical
Why is "Hamilton" so revolutionary? Because it is a musical about a founding father that incorporates rap and hip hop into the music and choreography . This is a new, inventive musical that keeps the younger generations interested in musical theatre and history. Avid theatre-goers also love "Hamilton" because the of the incredible lyrics, music and acting!
3. Historical Ties
History can tend to be boring and many people find history to be a less important subject because it does not deal with the present. Lin can be credited with making history cool...well at least the American Revolution and the founding fathers, especially Alexander Hamilton. Sometimes history is difficult because textbooks condense information, for example Hamilton's life is condensed to Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel, yet there is clearly so much more to the story. Lin's musical makes us ask the question, how much history and information are we missing out on?
4. Color Blind Casting
An incredible piece of this show is the diversity of the cast members. Anyone can look at the ten dollar bill and see how Alexander Hamilton looks, but Lin wanted the cast to demonstrate how America looks today. The colorblind casting invites a larger amount of actors to audition for the show and helps connect the audience to the show because the America being represented looks like the America they know.
5. The Cast
The original Broadway cast is astounding, just listen to the "Hamilton" cast album! Words cannot describe the love and attachment "Hamilton" fans have for this cast, which is why it kills us that Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Leslie Odom Jr. (Aaron Burr) and Phillipa Soo (Eliza Schuyler/Eliza Hamilton) will all be departing from the show this July. There could not have been a more perfect combination of talent and personality in one cast. On stage there is so much energy and chemistry which keeps the audience engaged and fully invested in the story and characters' lives. Tony winners from the cast include Daveed Diggs(Best Featured Actor in a Musical), Leslie Odom Jr. (Best Lead Actor in a Musical), Renee Elise Goldsberry (Best Featured Actress in a Musical) for their outstanding performances in the show.
6. The Emotional Rollercoaster
I have never seen this show on stage, but I have watched many clips of the show on YouTube as well as listening, on repeat, to the cast album. I can honestly say that I don't ever cry while watching movies or listening to soundtracks and cast albums yet I found tears streaming down my face by the end of the "Hamilton" cast album. "Hamilton" can have you laughing with songs such as King George's "You'll Be Back" and "I Know Him" or have you sobbing with songs such as "It's Quiet Uptown" and "The World Was Wide Enough." Not only can it bring you joy and sadness, it can fill your heart with love through songs such as "Helpless" and "Dear Theodosia" or pump you up with songs such as "Alexander Hamilton" and "Yorktown." This musical is so incredible because it actually makes you feel the whole range of emotions throughout the show and leaves the audience saying, "Awesome. Wow!"
7. Meaningful Lyrics
This goes hand-in-hand with the emotional rollercoaster. The beautiful, eloquent lyrics Lin has written are so touching. It takes a few times of listening to the cast album to let the words sink in. One of my favorite lyrics is from "Wait For It" when Aaron Burr exclaims, "I am inimitable, I am an original!" This line reminds us that we are all unique and cannot be replaced. Another powerful line comes from the opening song "Alexander Hamilton." Hamilton says, "There is a million things I haven't done but just you wait" because he knows that he will do everything possible to start a new nation and create his legacy. From the song "My Shot" we hear Hamilton proclaim, "I am not throwing away my shot!" This lyric not only sets up a motif throughout the show but also reminds us that we have one shot at life so we should make the most of it. These are just a few examples of the genius lyrics which make this musical so life-changing!
8. #Ham4Ham Shows
#Ham4ham shows are one of the best ways that Lin connects with fans and gives them an inexpensive way to get a chance to see the show. Every Wednesday there is a lottery raffle where people can enter to win ten dollars tickets to see the show, hence the name Hamilton for "Hamilton". Even if you do not win the lottery raffle you still leave the #ham4ham show with a completely unique experience because there is always a performance connected with the lottery. The cast and other guests perform skits for the audience who gather during the time of the raffle!
9. Lighting, Choreography, Costumes, and Orchestrations
The lighting, choreography, costumes and orchestrations all add to the experience of watching the show live. The Tony Award performance of "Yorktown" is a perfect example of the impressive work using all of the previously mentioned elements. While the orchestrations change mood the lighting fluctuates between red, white, and blue as the fight progresses. The choreography is incredibly thought out and matches the lyrics and music perfectly. Hamilton won Tony Awards for Best Costume Design of a Musical, Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Best Choreography, and Best Orchestration.
"Hamilton" fans are probably the best fans around! This fandom is so popular it is even nominated for the MTV New Fandom of the Year Award. Because Lin always reaches out to his audiences, the fan base of "Hamilton" feels comfortable sharing funny memes, stories, and pictures with Lin on social media. The most exciting feeling in the world is to have someone you adore respond to you or acknowledge your existence, so when Lin retweets a picture or answers a question you post you feel so special! Even if you've never met Lin or seen him in the show, as a fan you feel personally connected to him through watching interviews and other videos. I think we can all agree that pride is not the word we are looking for because there is so much more inside of us now!
"Hamilton" has been so overwhelmingly popular since its opening on Broadway and it will continue to be popular because it's beginning to tour the nation! It is clear that Lin-Manuel Miranda did not throw away his shot!