Small disclaimer: this article does include spoilers, but to be fair, so does your history textbook.
"Hamilton" is one of the newer Broadway musicals that hit stages in August of 2015. Since then, it has risen in fame and in popularity. Its content is unique, considering that historical figures are not common subject matter on Broadway. The story of Alexander Hamilton is also not as well known, but it's certainly just as unique as the musical written about him. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer and the current Alexander Hamilton, was inspired by a biography of the founding father featured on our $10 bill and wrote a hit musical about him. "Hamilton" is about as nontraditional as it gets. Most of the songs are rap, and it's told in modern language instead of the language you would see if you read if you read, say the Federalist Papers (Hamilton wrote 51 of those by the way). In honor of several of the main cast members final show days, including Lin-Manuel Miranda (Alexander Hamilton) and Leslie Odom Jr (Aaron Burr), both of whom will be leaving the show after July 9, this article will cover just a few of the many reasons that "Hamilton" is one of the most important musicals in the last decade. And it's also a chance to share my extensive knowledge of the show without my dad telling me to be quiet so he can actually listen to it. But it's mostly because it's an important musical, okay?
If you can't tell already, I'm a little obsessed. Some iconic historical figures make an appearance, including Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and James Madison to name a few. Oh, and Alexander Hamilton. Almost all of the characters are played by actors who are African-American, which is just one way this musical is pretty important to modern society. In addition to reasserting an interest in American history, "Hamilton" tackles some pretty important social issues that are present today. First of all, every single day there's a new article out there about how we should ban Muslims, Mexicans, or some other group of people from entering the country. There's a pretty xenophobic attitude from several of our politicians (yes Donald Trump, I mean you), but in the midst of some very poor attitudes about immigration, "Hamilton" chooses to emphasize the accomplishments of immigrants. Alexander Hamilton was actually an immigrant who grew up in the British West Indies, and he was instrumental in winning the Revolutionary War. He was a tactical genius, and at around 20 years old, he became an aid to George Washington during the war. Considering how immigrants are "stealing our jobs" these days, this is a pretty important fact to remember. The founding father who created the beginnings of the American banking system was an immigrant, and one with quite a bit of potential at that. "Hamilton" begins with Alexander Hamilton arriving in New York City, and is really the story of an immigrant's dream to rise up and create his own legacy. It's actually a pretty great story.
Up until this musical came out, there actually weren't that many people with extensive knowledge about Alexander Hamilton despite his clear importance to the development of the early United States. In fact, he was so unknown that they were pretty close to taking him off the $10 bill in favor of Harriet Tubman. In the end, Alexander Hamilton had a sudden spurt in popularity for some mysterious reason, and they voted to keep him on the $10 bill, and instead decided to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman. Jackson really was more deserving of being replaced anyway. The reason I bring this up is because Politico credits "Hamilton superfans" with raising a loud enough cry of outrage that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew reversed the plan to replace Hamilton, and instead replaced Jackson. It's a pretty impressive accomplishment considering how unknown Hamilton was compared to most of the other Founding Fathers. This achievement is further proof of a newfound interest in American history. Hamilton's contributions to the establishment of the nation are not the most talked about in many history classes, at least not in high school. However, the format of this musical makes Hamilton's story attractive, particularly to a younger generation who find history class relatively uninteresting.
"Hamilton" didn't just have social implications, it has had some pretty major impacts on the arts as well. It has brought about a new interest in Broadway for many who had some misconceptions about how awesome it is. In addition, the cast is incredibly diverse, a rarity for many musicals and the entertainment industry in general. It won eleven Tony awards, and has been praised across the board. It is a stunning musical, to say the least, and there's a lot more I could say about it (and I have some slightly irritated family members who can vouch for that), but this has covered the impacts that I feel are most important. "Hamilton" is new, exciting, and incredible. Its an inspiring musical, so in conclusion, I just have this to say: no dad, I will not stop giving you trivia.