Last weekend, I got to show one of my best friends, Gabby, 'Hamilton' for the first time. Of course, most of the time I was actually watching her, making sure she was reacting to the parts that I thought she should react to. Luckily, she liked it as much as I did after her first time watching it.
Since watching 'Hamilton' again, I've had many of the songs stuck in my head. So... why not break down my favorite moment in each song of Act 2?
"What'd I Miss"Giphy
I think that this song is one of the best possible songs that could have started Act II. It begins with the same melody and beat as the first song of the musical, which is recurring throughout the whole thing. My favorite moment here, though, is when James Madison asks Thomas Jefferson, "Where have you been?" and Thomas simply says "Uh... France." I always found this funny, but I recently found out that Daveed Diggs came up with that reply on his own. That makes it ten times funnier to me.
"Cabinet Battle #1"Giphy
I think that this was the first song I ever learned the words to from 'Hamilton'. I've always loved this song so much and the fact that it's literally a rap battle makes it even better. It does a really great job of illustrating the conflict between Jefferson and Hamilton.
My favorite part is when Alexander Hamilton says "And another thing, Mr. Age of Enlightenment, don't lecture me about the war, you didn't fight in it. You think I'm frightened of you man? We almost died in the trench while you were off getting high with the French." Talk about a burn...
"Take a Break"
Aside from Anthony Ramos suddenly playing a nine year old boy, I think that Phillipa Soo hyping him up as he "raps" is absolutely priceless.
"Say No To This"Jasmine Cephas Jones Hamilton GIF by Disney+ Giphy
Although this is definitely not my favorite song, I think it's cool to see Jasmine Cephas Jones, who initially played Peggy, completely change into a different character here. Her vocals are also extremely impressive.
"The Room Where it Happens"lin-manuel miranda hamilton GIF Giphy
Not only is this a bop that Leslie Odom Jr. absolutely kills vocally, but the choreography here is immaculate and very satisfying. The moment where Burr is standing on a table and jumps while one of the company members pulls out the table cloth from under him always amazes me.
This isn't the most outstanding track in the musical, but I think my favorite part is that it brings back the melody of "The Schuyler Sisters." I don't know, I just really love it when musicals incorporate certain melodies and themes throughout.
"Cabinet Battle #2"
As Jefferson is trying to convince Washington to have the United States aid France in the French Revolution, Jefferson says (or raps), "We needed money and guns and half a chance, uh who provided those funds?" Madison quietly replies "France."
I always thought this was kind of funny. I also love the fact that Jefferson is arguing that they should help France, because of Lafayette specifically. After all, Daveed Diggs plays both Jefferson and Lafayette. Also, I think "daddy's calling" is probably the biggest diss Hamilton could've ever received.
"Washington On Your Side"Daveed Diggs Hamilton GIF by Disney+ Giphy
This song marks a major turning point in the musical. Burr, Jefferson, and Madison officially joins forces here to try to defeat Hamilton. However, my favorite moment here is at the very beginning. Jefferson is standing on the stage, then all of a sudden Burr comes out of nowhere and begins this song. The look of utter confusion on Jefferson's face is priceless.
"One Last Time"
This song really showcases Christopher Jackson's amazing voice. It's really satisfying to listen to. Overall, I love the part of the song where Hamilton is "writing" Washington's speech and they're saying the same words at the same time. I'm sure that was extremely hard to get right and took lots of practice.
"I Know Him"King George Broadway GIF by Hamilton: An American Musical Giphy
Here we see the return of our friend King George III. Again, he comes in clutch with the comedic relief. I love that he kind of takes a stab at himself when he addresses George Washington stepping down as president. He says "I wasn't aware that was something a person could do." Jonathan Groff really deserves an award for how well he played this character.
"The Adams Administration"
Although this song is less than a minute long, I think Hamilton's response to John Adams is absolutely priceless. I'm not gonna type it out... you'll know exactly what I'm talking about when you hear it.
I think this whole song is extremely ironic. Jefferson, Madison, and Burr walk into Hamilton's office, thinking all he's done is taken government funds. They think they know everything, but they soon realize there is more to this situation than they first suspected. Hamilton asks the men to promise they won't tell anyone what he is about to reveal to them. They respond with "Um... yes?" Something about Daveed Digg's acting here just makes me laugh.
This is probably my least favorite song in the musical, but it's still good. I think my favorite part here is when they integrate a small part of "History Has Its Eyes on You" here. Again, I'm a sucker for mashing songs together like this.
"The Reynolds Pamphlet"Giphy
Aside from Jefferson's weird happy jumping thing he does on the table (as seen above), my favorite part in this song is something that many might miss when they're watching 'Hamilton' for the first time.
As Jefferson is happily handing out copies of the Reynolds Pamphlet to everyone he sees, he also hands one to the music director that's in the pit. I always thought this was extremely funny.
'Burn' is by far one of my favorite songs. Phillipa Soo does absolutely amazing. I love that the song has kind of a haunting or creepy vibe to it. It's also probably the most beautiful way to condemn your cheating husband.
My favorite moment here is when Eliza sings "I'm erasing myself from the narrative." In a song earlier, she begs Hamilton to let her "be part of the narrative." I like this continuation.
"Blow Us All Away"
I absolutely love that Philip's rap here is extremely similar to the one in "My Shot." It's also cool that Philip is 19 years old in this song, as Alexander was when he first arrived and during "My Shot."
"Stay Alive (Reprise)"
The reuse of "Stay Alive" here is extremely fitting. Previously, Eliza was singing for Alexander to stay alive while in battle. Now, she's basically begging her son to stay alive. I didn't realize it at first, but when Philip is apologizing to his mother for forgetting what she taught him, I think he's referring to counting. He may have thought he counted wrong in the duel, which would ultimately result in his death.
"It's Quiet Uptown"
This is a really pretty song. I think the thing I like about this song is that Hamilton is finally humbled. I mean, he cheated on his wife and did some sketchy things. This song really illustrates his humanity.
"The Election of 1800"Giphy
This song finally picks up the pace after an emotional few minutes. My favorite part is the very beginning when Jefferson asks, "can we get back to politics?" and James Madison is crying and says "Please." It provides good comedic relief after an intense few songs.
"Your Obedient Servant"
Honestly, I really like this song. I like that they incorporate "The Room Where it Happens" here. I think my favorite part, though, is that this song is so serious, but both Burr and Hamilton end their letters with "I have the honor to be your obedient servant." I've always thought this was pretty funny.
"Best of Wives and Best of Women"
This is a very short song that just kind of moves the plot along. I guess I like that Alexander finally acknowledges Eliza as "best of wives and best of women." After everything Alexander has put her through, it's about freaking time.
"The World Was Wide Enough"
I absolutely love this song because it demonstrates Burr's character development. First, Burr is defending his decision to kill Hamilton by explaining that he was wearing his glasses and carefully looking at his guns. At the end, however, he realizes that Hamilton didn't need to die. In fact, he even regrets it. He acknowledges that because of this, he'll be remembered as a villain in history.
"Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story"Giphy
I can honestly say that there is no song that could've ended the musical better than this. Phillipa Soo absolutely kills this whole song. I think my favorite part though, is at the very end when the whole company joins in. It gives me chills every time. I also believe that this song shows that 'Hamilton' is just as much Eliza's story as it is Alexander's. Absolutely genius.