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Hamilton: Integrating Education and Music

If you’re not Hamil-Trash yet, you may need to check your pulse. For those who don’t know what Hamilton is, let me enlighten you with this useful knowledge: it is a phenomenal performance about the life of United States Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton, created and starred by Lin- Manuel Miranda. It may sound boring and too educational, but believe me when I say, that it will change your outlook on United States History. In the past, I have learned about Alexander Hamilton, but for some odd reason, I never comprehended the whole story of him. To be completely honest, I thought that Alexander Hamilton was a president. Apologies to my history teachers. ‘Hamilton’ vividly illustrates his biography and who he really is. Since we will never get the chance to ever see Alexander Hamilton in person, we can Lin- Manuel Miranda truly embody his character. The audience can finally the life of our first Secretary of Treasury and apply it to their history lessons.

I will educate you about the life of Alexander Hamilton-from which I learned from the show. You’re welcome in advance. The performance begins with a large opening number called “Alexander Hamilton”. The title of the number is understandable, I assume. It then brings us to the relationship between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, which then follows with his meeting of his later friends John Laurens, Marquis De Lafayette, and Hercules Mulligan. Next, we witness Hamilton convene with his future wife, Eliza Schuyler. The audience gets to see the relationships with these individuals he meets progress and regress at times. We get to observe Hamilton in battle with General Washington, his contact with General Lee, him meeting his son Philip, and the deadly advice he gives to him. One of the biggest historical lessons we acquire information from is the cabinet battles in which we can witness how our treasury has come to be and our foreign relations in that time period. It illustrates the issues of debate between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson and how Washington decided the superior plans. My favorite aspect of this show is how it portrays Hamilton and Burr. In the past, most of us have seen Aaron Burr as the monster and murderer that shot and killed a founding father, however, if you see or listen to the soundtrack of the show, you realize that Aaron Burr was not a villain. He seemed quite polite and gave some really great advice. One of my favorite pieces of advice is“Talk less, Smile More.” However, things got heated and one thing led to another, next thing you know Alexander Hamilton is shot dead- no big deal. You can actually listen to the pain Burr has when he realizes Hamilton shot up and not at Burr. when he yells “WAIT!” in the number “The World Was Wide Enough”. It’s literally heartbreaking. You hear the pain in his voice and the numb sensation he feels after doing so. He regrets his actions and states “Now I’m the villain in your history, I was too young and blind to see. I should’ve known. The world was wide enough for both Hamilton and me” which is quite accurate because that what the real Aaron Burr stated in real life. I definitely did see Burr as a villain and I did not know that he and Hamilton actually had a genuine relationship before listening to the soundtrack. You realize that he was not a bad person, necessarily. These are the things you can only learn visually in shows.

Another ‘plus’ about this musical is that it stands out among the others for many reasons: the main reason being that it is hip hop based. Hip hop is something that many appeals to many teenagers in this generation, therefore this show can appeal to a myriad of teenagers. Those that love hip hop can definitely enjoy the show. Additionally, those who do not enjoy hip hop, however, appreciate musicals will be able to enjoy this as well. Hamilton is so popular because it brings a contemporary twist to a Broadway performance that is also educational. I was actually surprised that I enjoyed it because I’m not usually a fan of hip-hop. I never imagined myself rapping to myself about Alexander Hamilton during cafe everyday.

Additionally, I believe it is so popular because the characters do not correspond with history: these characters are played by people of color. We all know the founding fathers were white, and the idea of making the characters of the Broadway production people that are African American or Hispanic is something new for us to see. The diversity is something we need, it’s like a breath of fresh air. This is something we need more of. Hamilton is known for its ‘firsts’ and this can revolutionize the Broadway and film casting methods forever.

This Grammy winning musical is definitely a must-see or if you can’t, a must-hear. If you ever get a chance to attend a live performance do not throw away your shot. The show is sold out until 2017, but my advice to you is that if you get it, it will be worth the wait. However, you don’t have to see it to understand the storyline. If you listen to the Hamilton soundtrack you can comprehend what has happened and you will cry at least once- take my word for it.

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