I have now seen it many times, both live and streaming on my computer. I love it more each time. We saw it first in July 2015 when it was in Broadway Previews, almost entirely by chance.
I was in New York, staying at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square for the 2015 RWA Conference. Author Shari Anton and I got last minute tickets for the show which had already revved up a lot of fame. It was a knock-out, as everyone who has seen it agrees.
Based on a serious biography by historian Ron Chernow, the life story of Alexander Hamilton (2004) seemed an odd subject for a Broadway smash hit. Well before it became a musical, Lin-Manuel Miranda had performed the opening number at a White House concert for a distinguished audience. Reviewing that tape, you can hear a lot of laughter--at the very thought of a hip-hop version of a founding father's life. It is said that President Obama said, when Miranda voiced his plans for the project, "Good luck with that."
The Obamas and many more civic, governmental, and show business leaders fell in love with the show, just as the public did. In turns poignant, hilarious, and thought-provoking, Hamilton excels on every level. Besides a lot of hip hop, there are ballads, love songs, jazz, and British 70's pop. It opened at New York's Off-Broadway Public Theater to enthusiastic reviews and ticket demand. When it moved to Broadway, I was one of the lucky ones who attended a preview performance.
Besides the poetry and music, the costuming and casting are creative and precedent-breaking. The choreography and stagecraft excel. Guess you can tell I loved it. After New York, I saw it again on the road and will watch the film again and again. Not throwing away my shot.
Bravo, Lin-Manuel Miranda. You've won all the awards and set all the records, every one well-deserved.
Victoria Hinshaw, Author