“Hamilton: An American Musical” Blows Us All Away


From left to right: Anthony Ramos as John Laurens, Lin Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, Daveed Diggs as Lafayette, and Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan, along with the Hamilton Ensemble.

Bekah Redinger, Staff Writer

The teens are all obsessed with America’s founding fathers. Yes, that’s what’s trending. “Hamilton: An American Musical” is currently revolutionizing the Broadway scene, and people are taking notice.

So what is Hamilton? It’s a musical that combines hip-hop and the traditional Broadway style to tell the story of Alexander Hamilton, America’s first treasury secretary. “Hamilton” has won eleven Tony Awards and one Grammy, which only proves its popularity. Lin Manuel Miranda, the writer, composer, and lead of the musical, won the MacArthur Genius Grant and the Pulitzer Prize for his work on it. Within the first few tracks, listeners are pulled into the story, intrigued by the fascinating characters that they meet; Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton, John Laurens, Marquis De Lafayette, Hercules Mulligan, and the Schuyler sisters Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy. Hamilton is an immigrant from the Caribbean intent on revolution, and many other characters share his viewpoint. The story of the musical is very inspiring, and not only one of hard work and drive but of the American Revolution. “‘Hamilton’ did put into perspective the Constitution…it’s the story of the Revolution with modern day rap.” said Coronado Student Melvin Wright, 10, a fan of the musical. The plot only thickens as the musical continues, but the fascinating story and characters are not the only notable things about the musical.

Hamilton has a very diverse cast; the original broadway cast features many people of color. Lin Manuel Miranda himself is Puerto Rican. Said Miranda, “This is a story about America then, told by America now, and we want to eliminate any distance between a contemporary audience and this story.” For many people who have listened to Hamilton, this cast represents the opportunity for all Americans to be anything that they want: a revolutionary, a politician, or a military hero.

The climate in which “Hamilton” became popular says a lot about the musical and our current society. At this troubling time in American politics, looking at our beginnings and taking note of the parallels to what is going on now has merit. The 2016 presidential election can be related to the song, “The Election of 1800” for example, because the song includes a difficult choice made by voters that ends up being very close, and, for many people, seems to have an unnerving end. The musical warns of corruption in government, and reminds all listeners of how important it is to be kind and work hard to achieve your goals.

For anyone who hasn’t listened to the soundtrack yet, it’s a good idea to listen to it and become involved in what will undoubtedly be one of the most revolutionary and impactful parts of modern pop culture. Listening to the story of Hamilton might just be worth it for those who want to learn more about American history (and get a head start on an AP US History class) or keep up with the politics of yesterday and tomorrow.