The Ultimate 'Hamilton' Cheat Sheet
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The Ultimate 'Hamilton' Cheat Sheet

What you need to know in order to escape intervention from your friends.

The Ultimate 'Hamilton' Cheat Sheet
Why Hamilton is Broadway's Hottest Hit

For those of you who have somehow missed the "Hamilton" hype, refused to download the soundtrack to Broadway’s hottest show and unfollowed your roommate from freshman year who has an apparent obsession with Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Twitter page; I am providing you with a beginner’s guide of "Hamilton" that will allow you to hold a decent conversation with a fan. I never watched the "Twilight" movies in high school (on purpose), but I knew that everybody hated Bella, that she was clumsy and that she was involved in a supernatural love triangle. I knew that Edward was a vampire, a stalker and that he glowed. That is all I had to know to buy me an out when people talked about the series. Hopefully, this "Hamilton" cheat-sheet will do the same for you.

This musical is the brain-child of Lin Manuel-Miranda, who read the biography of Alexander Hamilton written by Ron Chernow on a vacation to Mexico in 2008. A week prior, Miranda had already discussed the idea of turning the story of the Founding Father and Treasurer of State into a hip-hop musical. Six years after the show materialized as an idea in Miranda’s mind, it became a major hit in Broadway, won a Grammy and has been endorsed by a variety of celebrities, including the Obamas, who have allowed the cast to perform in the White House on more than one occasion.

One reason for Hamilton’s success is, without a doubt, the creator, writer and star, Lin Manuel-Miranda. He is a fan favorite; his reputation as a creative genius and literary bad-ass remains unquestioned. Another one of the major elements of "Hamilton"that has contributed to its success is its famously multi-racial cast. The fact that the show is historical is something to consider as well. The site, discusses the impact of "Hamilton" when it states, “This origin story’s familiarity allows Miranda to add details and nuance in ways that play with the idea of historiography, asking where our history comes from, who gets to tell it, and why.”

1. Characters

Alexander Hamilton. Know that whenever anyone mentions a, “bastard, orphan, son of a whore,” they are referring to Hamilton. This unbridled, ambitious immigrant earned a scholarship to King’s College, served in the army during the Revolutionary War, and wrote the majority of The Federalist Papers. Every woman in the show is in love with him. Actually. Also, he almost single-handedly established the U.S. two-party system and literally wrote a pamphlet describing an affair he had while his family was on vacation. You don’t know whether to love him or hate him and that’s...fine.

The Schuyler Sisters represent women in history in the most amazing way possible. Eliza Schuyler is the epitome of feminine grace and all that is good in the world. Alexander’s song to Eliza, “Best of Wives, Best of Women,” describes her to a tee. She experiences far too many tragedies in her life and ends the show with a beautiful song about how she overcame her heartbreak and established the nation’s first orphanage. Angelica Schuyler is the only character who can match Alexander’s intelligent passion. Quick-witted and wise, she makes the show’s obligatory unrequited love song bearable.

George Washington takes Hamilton under his wing. He is tired, in need of a “right hand man,” and haunted by a fatal mistake early on in his career. Always the voice of reason, he is your new favorite father figure.

Aaron Burr begins the show as Hamilton’s friend, although the audience knows from the start that he ends up Hamilton’s murderer. Burr is willing to “wait for it” and refuses to take a stand on any issue. Unfortunately, his song written to his daughter might prevent you from hating him.

Also, you should keep it in mind that Maria Reynold’s libido begins pretty much every bad thing that happens in Act Two.

2. Songs

1) "My Shot"

Key lyrics: “Yo, I’m just like my country. I’m young, scrappy, and hungry and I’m not throwing away my shot.”

If all else fails, just keep singing “shot”.

2) "The Schuyler Sisters"

Key lyrics: “I’m looking for a mind at work” &, “In New York, you can be a new man.”

Also, learn the exchange between Anjelica and Burr. It is short and you will earn applause.

3) "You’ll Be Back"

Key lyrics: “And when push comes to shove, I will kill your friends and family to remind you of my love.”

If anything, just listen to King George’s “love song” to the American colonies to get a good laugh. Jonathan Groff is a comedic god.

4) "Right Hand Man"

Key lyric: “The truth is in your face when you hear the British cannons go...BOOM!”

Go all out on the “boom.” Stand up, throw your palms down and bring the attitude.

5) "Say No to This"

Key Lyrics: “Show me how to say no to this…” & “That was my wife who you decided to...fu….”

Cue the entire cast/audience yelling “Hamilton, WTF!?”

In summary, "Hamilton" is awesome, Lin Manuel-Miranda rules the world and although now you have a better understanding of what’s going on, you are encouraged to listen to this entire album from beginning to end. Happy listening!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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