PlayReview for “Hamilton (2015 Musical)”
PlayReview for “Hamilton (2015 Musical)”
“Hamilton”is a musical narrating the story of one of America’s foundingfathers, Alexander Hamilton. The music and book behind the musicalare crafted by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also performed the first partof the story at the White House in front of President Obama, beforethe full release of the full work. “Hamilton” receivedoverwhelming positive reviews from most critics and an unprecedentednumber of Tony nominations alongside other many awards. “Hamilton”is centered on a series of rap musicals all themed to match eventsand activities that surrounded the life of the founding father, whoseimpact on the growth of the young America was phenomenal. Some fansof Hamilton were skipping meals to save money for tickets to attendthe next show. I watched the musical at The Public Theater on 25thFebruary 2016, and it was arguably the best I ever viewed. Therefore,“Hamilton” is a musical that was excellently crafted andscripted, outstandingly cast and directed, and superbly played.
“Hamilton”is about Alex Hamilton albeit in a creatively crafted rap musical.During his White House performance, Miranda explained to the audiencethat he chose the genre of rap since, according to him, Hamilton wasalso the founding father of the rap industry in America, thoughimplicitly. The first song, titled “Alexander Hamilton”, gives abrief background of the man. The lyrics describe him as a man whogrew strong and wise despite being born in a humble family andbecoming an orphan at a tender age. Moreover, all other successivesongs describe different events and scenes in the life of Hamilton ashe continued facing the hardships that were prevalent in Americaduring that time. Apparently, the American Revolution took a centralplace in the life of the man who would later become GeorgeWashington’s “right-hand man”.
Furthermore,recurrent in the musical is also the fact that nothing could silencethe spirit and confidence of Hamilton, not even the envious Burr.After shooting Hamilton, Burr regrets his actions as laments that hewill be remembered for nothing else but for having been the one whokilled Hamilton. The final song, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who TellsYour Story", is told at a time when he has little choice overwhat the world will remember him for. The play was acted by people ofdifferent colors to be relevant in the contemporary America. It wasdirected by Thomas Kail.
“Hamilton”is among the most outstanding musicals of time in many ways. Thereare many elements of intelligence, creativity, and profound genius inthe lyrics, directing, casting, and props among other elements of themusical that took America by storm. Firstly, the costume design workwas perfectly befitting for a story set in the 18thcentury’s America. The fussy cultures of the 18thcentury are wittingly integrated into a sensibility that is bothmodern and minimalist. For example, the costumes of the dancingensemble are crafted to allow the movements on the stage and also tobe flexible enough to suit the broad array of roles that were to beplayed by members of the ensemble, from statespersons to men andwomen in the streets of America`s capital city. Furthermore, the keyplayers were made to stand out by having unique costumes, a decisionthat was clearly well-thought. On top of that, there could not havebeen a better color for King George’s coat than red.
Thecasting of “Hamilton” is contemporarily revolutionary. A typicallyricist or director would have selected a purely white cast to playthe key roles in “Hamilton”, which would have been understandablegiven the historical reality of the musical’s story. However,Miranda pictured a region in which people from various creeds,colors, and beliefs joined forces in an attempt to found a nationoverwhelmed by diversity, just like the modern America. For example,the musical’s authoring lyricist is a Puerto Rican. The role ofBurr was played by Joshua Henry, who is an African American. One ofthe women in the cast played a Revolutionary soldier. Therefore, itcan be concluded that the director`s interpretation of the themes wascommendable since the author is believed to have dreamt of a Hamiltonwho embraced diversity- especially given the fact that he was one ofthe pioneering opponents of international slavery.
Theactors, on their side, did a commendable job. When Miguel Cervantesplays the lead role, one could just watch and remain speechless forthe genius reflected. Though he is not as charming as the script`sauthor, the charisma, and sophistication he builds is enviable andsparks enthusiasm. Besides, he knows how to make love and pain flowat their respective times without forcing either. Joshua Henry’srole as Burr was also a work of absolute excellence. In fact, hisrapping prowess is perfectly integrated into a role that reflectsmaturity and a clear understanding of how the real Burr would havedealt with Hamilton at the face of defeat. Karen Olivo’s role asSchuyler is also a reflection of theatrical maturity and wisdom.Overall, Miranda’s genius couldn’t have been expressed in abetter way.
“Hamilton”is a musical whose ingenuity and perfection can be seen by everyonewho has watched it but the incurably sightless. The first perfectionwas made by Miranda when writing the catchy rhymes and lyrics thatform the foundation of the musical. Miranda believed that using rapwould help him bring forth the replica of Alexander Hamilton, who hebelieved was the founding figure of rap in America. Evidently,“Hamilton” is a musical that was excellently crafted andscripted, outstandingly cast and directed, and superbly played.Overall, it is undeniably one of the best musicals of modern times.