By Emily Stewart
Hamilton has entranced viewers since 2015, when it first appeared on Broadway, smashing records and surprising people with its creative rendition of Alexander Hamilton’s story. The ten-dollar founding father lived quite a tale, and the show explores the dynamics at play in the early 18th century, complete with the shifting pieces of the other founding fathers and their actions that made the United States what it is today.
Alexander Hamilton was born in a small town in the Caribbean called Nevis. Orphaned and alone by age ten in a horrifyingly dismal and cruel island, Alexander’s wit and intelligent writing created an opportunity for him to get to the United States. Extraordinary for an uneducated boy, he quickly rose to fame in the U.S. through his education at King’s College, where he met his later nemesis, Aaron Burr. The story follows his close relationship with George Washington, and how Alex was called on to write, yet yearned to fight in the war. Meeting Eliza, the daughter of Philip Schuyler, turned Hamilton’s world around and he quickly fell in love. We see the birth of their firstborn Philip, and Alexander’s next political conquest, where he gained the position of the secretary of the treasury. Flash forward many years and Philip dies in a duel due to someone dishonoring the Hamilton name, Hamilton has a treacherous affair with a Mrs. Reynolds, and a cruel Reynolds Pamphlet is passed that forces Hamilton into an embroiled political scandal. Hamilton’s political views pitted him against Thomas Jefferson, who later ran for President against Aaron Burr, where Jefferson surprisingly gained Hamilton’s vote. This pitfall leads to the infamous duel between Burr and Hamilton, leading to Hamilton’s untimely demise.
The Disney movie captures the magic of the stage version, following different camera angles and views that transport the watcher to a first-row seat at the show. Hamilton’s famous acclaim made it extremely difficult to get tickets, so this movie brings people a wonderful chance to view the show for themselves. Cast with a diverse set of people, the takeaway is all about unity in diversity, and how anybody can play whatever role they want. This culturally enriching and new form of casting helps open the door for new musicals to follow suit.
The most exciting piece of the musical is the music: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s brilliant soundtrack creatively encompasses pop, rap, and hip hop to tell the story. If you listen closely to the words, you can catch the clever history references and lyrical rhetoric that make this show so amazing. Alex Lacamoire’s orchestrations are genius, creatively joining together instruments to match Miranda’s lyrics. The choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler perfectly matches the music, making difficult moves look simple and effortless. All in all, this musical combines history and hip hop with beautiful orchestrations and choreography, forming a show that will stand the test of time. When you see the movie, you’ll understand the hype that’s surrounded this show since its release. Go watch Hamilton on Disney Plus and see for yourself; it’s a kind of magic you won’t forget anytime soon.
Edited by Morgan Mitchell