With a record-breaking 16 Tony nominations, a Grammy and a Pulitzer for Drama, the musical" Hamilton" is a Broadway phenomenon, captivating audiences since its debut in February 2015. With celebrities like Beyonce, Oprah Winfrey and the Obama's raving, the musical's popularity and influence has no end.
"Hamilton" was inspired by and based on Ron Chernow's biography about the life of Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury and founder of the Federalist Party. Writer and star, Lin Manuel Miranda, modernized the exciting and often tumultuous tale of the formation of the United States and the Founding Fathers, making the musical as historical as it is entertaining.
But, I'm sure the majority of people (who don't live under a rock) know these things already. Here are some things you may not know about this incredible musical...
1. Lin Manuel Miranda almost played Aaron Burr.
Shocking, right? Miranda says he identifies with Burr and Hamilton equally, but enjoys playing Hamilton's confident, and sometimes arrogant, character.
2. Hamilton's cast raised money for the orphanage Eliza Hamilton started.
Philippa Soo and Lin Manuel Miranda performed at the orphanage, founded in 1806, to raise money for the worthy cause.
3. Miranda calls two songs from "Hamilton" "The
best songs I've ever written."
The songs he's referring to, "The Room Where It Happened" and "Wait for It," are both sung by Leslie Odom Jr's character, Aaron Burr. Miranda jokes that he "stupidly gave him (Leslie Odom Jr.) a lot of the best songs" in the musical.
4. "Hamilton" has an unprecedented number of words.
Whereas most musicals similar to "Hamilton's" style have between 4,000 and 6,500 words, "Hamilton" has 20,520 words packed into a two-hour and 23 minute show with nearly double the pace of other musicals. Nice one, Lin.
5. It took Miranda a year to write the opening
The first song, "Alexander Hamilton," is a brilliant summary of the beginnings of Hamilton's story. It took Miranda over a year to write and perfect it ... and we're so glad he did.
6. A musical number about John Adams was cut from the final production.
But don't worry, here it is.
7. Miranda wrote "You'll Be Back" while on his honeymoon.
This song, a breakup letter between America and Great Britain, has a vastly different sound to the hip-hop/rap style of the rest of the musical. But, we still love it.
8. The rap in "Guns and Ships" is really fast.
At one point of the song, Daveed Diggs, who plays Marquis de Lafayette, sings 6.3 words per second. That's right, per second.
9. The musical was originally entitled "The Hamilton Mixtape."
Eventually, Jeffrey Seller, the musical's lead producer, convinced Miranda to change it to "Hamilton." Thank goodness!
10. The show has earned more than $62 million at the box office.
It's estimated the show earns about $500,000 in profits per week and could earn more than $1 billion in just New York alone. I wonder how much that would be worth in the 1700s?
Even though scoring a ticket to "Hamilton" is basically impossible, I hope these facts made you feel a little closer to this musical masterpiece. Keep obsessing, "Hamilton" super-fans ... I know I am.