Why Hamilton is SO popular?
If you have not been living under a rock for the past two years, you might have heard of the Broadway musical, Hamilton. However, if you do live under a rock, here is some background information about the musical:
Hamilton is a hip hop/rap musical based on the life of Alexander Hamilton written by Lin Manuel Miranda.
It debuted in February 2015 off-broadway in The Public Theater (New York City, USA) and was so popular that in August it was moved to Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Lin Manuel Miranda was inspired by a 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton’s Life by Ron Chernow titled Alexander Hamilton. In 2016, the musical was nominated for 16 Tony Awards, and won 11, which was the most in Broadway history.
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Now, you may be asking yourself, how on earth did this musical appeal to such a large group of people? The New York Times’ Erik Piepenburg explains it in six different categories:
The amount of awards it has received
Its genuinely interesting history
The diversity of the predominantly black and Latin American cast
Its celebrity-packed audiences
The historical accuracy
The on-point combination of both hip-hop and musical theatre.
Although those are all certainly factors which impacted the popularity of Hamilton, most people have realized that the main reason for its success was its overwhelming inclusivity and the fact that it is accessible to not only the upper-class New Yorkers who have the time and money to spare to go see Hamilton in the theatre, which most musicals center their audiences around. Phillipa Soo (who plays Eliza Schuyler Hamilton) told CBS:
“All I wanted to do was create theatre for us, our generation, for the people of this planet, and it’s so rare that the art that you are making, is reaching a huge mass of people”.
Whether you like history, rap, Broadway, or are just looking for a new playlist to listen to on Spotify, it is almost guaranteed that you will become obsessed with Hamilton.
For those of you who are tired of trying to rap to Guns and Ships or Satisfied, here are some recommendations of musicals which have also been very successful:
If you're looking for a rock musical with amazing alto singers listen to Heathers: The Musical by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe.
If you're looking for a musical that is funny yet obscure, look no further than Be More Chill by Joe Tracz.
If you're into a more traditional musical (which is also a 2012 movie) listen to Les Misérables by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg.
If you like satirical musicals try The Book of Mormon by Matt Stone, Robert Lopez, and Trey Parker.