Hamilton. You’ve probably heard all about this musical. Maybe you’ve listened to it yourself. It’s undoubtedly one of the most popular and well-known musicals in the world of musicals. But is it actually worth all the hype?
Hey, friends! Today, as you can see, we’re talking all about Hamilton: An American Musical. I thought it would be fun to start a series to discuss musicals, and since Hamilton is so well known, why not start with that one?
Hamilton: An American Musical was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also played Alexander Hamilton for a few years. Hamilton made its Broadway debut in January 2015, and has 46 songs.
I first listened to Hamilton in 2019, and I wasn’t hooked for several months. However, it’s now one of my favorite musicals.
How do I personally rate each aspect of Hamilton?
Hamilton has one major problem for me: the language. A lot of the lyrics aren’t clean, and as a Christian, that is definitely a problem for me. However, I won’t ever automatically dismiss something because of foul language. A lot of movies and TV shows that I love also have a lot of language, and it’s something that is very prevalent in today’s society.
The first time I listened to Hamilton, I wasn’t able to focus on anything but the bad language. However, my mom was listening to it with me, and since she didn’t have a big problem with it, I decided I’d give the musical another shot later on.
So content wise, Hamilton gets two-ish stars out of five.
If you look past the content, the music is really, really good. The songs are terribly catchy. I usually have at least one Hamilton song in my head. And judging by how many times I’ve heard kids at my theatre sing Hamilton, I’m not the only one.
I actually never expected to like a musical in the style of Hamilton (I’m usually considered (very rightly) a classical musical kind of girl (Think Phantom of the Opera and The Sound of Music), but I was very pleased to find that I do! Quite a lot, actually.
Thus, music gets five stars! Some of my favorite songs from Hamilton include “Burn,” “Guns and Ships”, and “It’s Quiet Uptown”. Even though two out of those three (guess which ones) kill me every single time I listen to them. *sobs*
Moving on, how about historical accuracy?
I’m a big history nerd and have been since I was little. The show Liberty’s Kids was one of my favorites when I was young, thus fueling an urge to learn about the American Revolution. (And Lafayette. I was obsessed with Lafayette.)
As far as I can tell, Hamilton is pretty accurate. Obviously, some creative liberties are taken.
In “Satisfied”, Angelica says that she must marry rich because her father had no sons, when in reality, the Schuyler family had three sons who survived to adulthood, and several more who died in infancy and childhood.
No one really knows if Angelica was actually in love with Alexander Hamilton at any point in time (though some of their letters make one wonder).
There are other little things here and there, but overall, not too many. So as for historical accuracy, Hamilton gets four stars.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve always been a huge history nerd, and I think the way the historical characters were portrayed was really good. As I’ve also mentioned before, I grew up watching Liberty’s Kids, and the portrayal of the characters in that show and the portrayal of the characters in Hamilton line up really well (as far as I remember), which was nice. It’s not really quite fair to rate historical characters, so I won’t actually rate the characters, but just the potrayal of them, and so they get five stars.
I won’t rate Hamilton’s plot, as it’s a historical show, and I’ve already rated the historical accuracy.
And now that I’ve rated Hamilton‘s different aspects, let’s talk about something else.
Is Hamilton overrated?
Undoubtedly. (Don’t kill me yet!)
Hamilton is most definitely a masterpiece. I can’t even imagine how many hours, weeks, and months Lin-Manuel Miranda put into writing it. It’s known for its diverse cast. The music is amazing. If it weren’t for the language, I’d give it five stars and declare it well-nigh perfect. But I would still say that it’s overrated.
Here’s why: there are so many other beautiful, amazing, fabulous musicals out there. But Hamilton is the only one most non-theatre people can name. When asked theatre trivia, most people that I’ve answer “Hamilton!” even if the question has absolutely nothing to with any aspect of Hamilton.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Hamilton. It deserves so much praise. But how about we start talking about some other awesome musicals? Let’s dig back and find some really old musicals no one ever talks about. Or some new musicals no one ever talks about.
Has Hamilton paved the way for other musicals?
I would say yes! Because of Hamilton‘s success, people who were never interested in musicals and theatre now want to dive deeper into the word of theatre, which makes me so happy. And since more people are interested in musicals, I think it will be a lot easier for other new musicals to get recognition.
I’m sure some of you have never listened to Hamilton before, despite how popular it is. So here’s a few song recommendations:
~ You’ll Be Back (Please, if you listen to just one song, let this one be it. It’s hilarious. Also clean, so you can sing it at the top of your lungs if you so wish.)
Or just listen to the whole Original Broadway Cast Recording, that’s good too.
Shoud I do more posts like this? Which musical should I talk about next?