Saturday, October 01, 2016
It's a rap opera. I loved it so much I forgot I don't like rap. The score was also heavily influenced by 1964-66 British invasion pop, reggae and the Great American songbook.
It's all about the "10-Dollar Founding Father without a Father." All I knew about Alexander Hamilton before Wednesday night is that he annoyed Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr shot him. All I knew about Burr is that he shot Hamilton.
To be honest, before Hamilton, the only Revolutionary-era figures who sparked my imagination are Jefferson (portrayed as a Princelike rock star) and Abigail Adams. Now I'm fascinated by the bastard orphan son of a whore and a Scotsman who grew up to be a hero and a scholar. While Abigail Adams doesn't appear, this play is not short on women. And let's face it, most accounts of our nation's birth emphasize the Founding Fathers at the expense of the ladies.
This all does my heart good. Before the play started, I heard a young man (18? 21?) whistling "My Shot." Just as I've never much liked rap, I bet this kid never much liked American History. There were some children in the audience, too, but I was especially excited to see high school/college aged kids.
The cheapest seat for tomorrow's matinee is $400. That's nose bleed. Is it worth it? No. The play will be here well into the new year (I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't still here in 2018) so the demand will diminish and the prices will go down.
But you definitely should see it. It really is that good! PBS is showing a documentary about its creation -- Mr. Manuel, I am in awe of you! -- later this month. I can't wait.
*It'll always be The Shubert to me.