[Editor’s Note: If at any point while reading this you think, Wow, she’s a spoiled brat, you are correct.]
Yesterday I discussed the process my mom and I went through as we planned to come to NYC (we’re here now!). I’ll be honest: I’m always up for a trip, but I wasn’t super excited about going to NYC again (my mom and I went for a few days in July 2010). The fact that it will be the Christmas season was definitely a bonus, but still, my passion level was at about a 6 out of 10.
AND THEN. A few days later, I discovered the musical Hamilton, and if you’ve been paying attention to this blog at all, the rest is history.
My brain quickly put together: Hamilton is on Broadway, and Broadway is in NYC. Suddenly the trip was a 10 out of 10. I immediately looked at their website, and my passion plummeted to a 0. They were sold out. For months.
This roller coaster of emotion continued. I discovered #ham4ham, a lottery in which Lin-Manuel Miranda and cast perform a little bit to street crowds, then offer 21 front row tickets in a raffle – if you win, you pay $10 (because Hamilton is on the bill). Awesome!, I thought. Until I read on and saw that every single day, an average of 700 people show up to put their names in the raffle. I calculated our odds to be .003%. Noooo. Continue reading
My friend Elizabeth recently brought an article called “‘Hamilton’ and the end of irony” to my attention. Because it is about Hamilton, I was immediately interested, but it drew me in further by making some really interesting cultural observations.
I had the good fortune a few weeks ago to see “Hamilton,” the musical currently swallowing Broadway whole (AND WHOSE CAST RECORDING IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM ONLINE!!!! YES, THIS ABSOLUTELY MERITS ALL CAPS! THIS IS LIKE BROADWAY CHRISTMAS! ALSO THE WHOLE THEME OF THIS PIECE IS SHARING YOUR ENTHUSIASMS!!!).
Alexandra Petri makes the astute observation that Hamilton is an earnest musical about an incredibly earnest guy, and that this sincerity is the heart of its success.
I agree! I think we live in an age of sincerity, if I can steal a phrase from Jonathan Fitzgerald’s article “Sincerity, Not Irony, Is Our Age’s Ethos.” Uninhibited love for things is everywhere, from the 90s nostalgia of my generation to the huge success of The Avengers movie. Continue reading
Even though Entertainment Weekly has called Hamilton “the biggest cultural smash on Broadway this decade” it can be hard to convince people to give the two and half hour, 46-song musical soundtrack a shot. For the sake of the joy and inspiration everyone is guaranteed to find in the story of Alexander Hamilton as told by Lin-Manuel Miranda, I’ve created a Cliff Note’s version of the musical’s story, links to key songs included.
[Side note: You won’t see the actors while listening to the cast album, but I think it is extremely important to note that the majority of the actors and actresses are people of color. Miranda himself is Puerto Rican, and the men who play Aaron Burr, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson are black. Hamilton’s wife and her sister are played by a biracial Asian woman and a black woman respectively. I am so in love with Miranda’s goal of telling the story of America’s past with the voices of America’s present.]
Alexander Hamilton was born on a Caribbean island, the bastard son of a Scotsman and a prostitute. He becomes an orphan when his dad skips out and his mother dies, and the cousin who takes him in winds up committing suicide. When he was a teenager, a hurricane devastated his hometown, and after writing about his experience, a fund was collected to send him to America. Dude has a serious chip on his shoulder, and he is determined to prove his worth by demanding everyone’s attention and hiding his self-doubts (“Alexander Hamilton“). Continue reading
The combination of obsessively listening to the Hamilton soundtrack and reading old blog entires for my Ten Years Ago… series has gotten me thinking a lot about waiting and acting.
I’ve always felt like a mass of contradictions, wanting to DO and BE and change the world!!! while also being absolutely terrified of walking into a room of strangers. I think I have grown into some confidence, and also learned how to say no to the unnecessarily stressful things that I can avoid. But still, there is a push/pull within me that urges me forward and holds me back simultaneously. Continue reading
I’ve seen a lot about Hamilton, the hit Broadway musical, on the Internet. As more and more people I trust fell under its sway, I side-eyed their good taste. Before I listened to it, my reservations were mostly: how can a musical about a founding father possibly be interesting? So I watched the video below, and the idea that hip hop is the language of a revolution intrigued me enough to give it a go.
Within the first 30 seconds of the first song, I thought, “Oh no. This is the beginning of an obsession.” Within the first few songs, I raced home because I knew I wanted to document my reactions (which were mostly dancing in my driver’s seat and then screaming “AHHH!!!” at the end of the song because I had so many unnameable emotions).
I’m throwing my opinion in with the rest and highly recommending Hamilton. Buy it on iTunes, Amazon, or listen for free on Spotify, just LISTEN TO IT oh my gosh. And if you need further convincing, here is me fangirling over every single song and displaying some of the incredible lyrics (songs I especially liked are bolded). Continue reading