Hamilton: Broadway’s Revolutionary New Musical Theatre Review by Michael Martinez
After experiencing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Broadway musical “In The Heights”, I left the theater feeling I had just witnessed a small miracle. The young composer & lyricist created a successful musical filled with salsa, merengue, rap and Latin-pop. The musical was held together by a book that told a story of Latin Americans in Washington Heights searching for the American Dream. “In The Heights” went on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical and Best Score. Lin-Manuel Miranda new hip-hop infused musical, “Hamilton” feel like a revolutionary step forward in the art of musical theatre. The show explores the the life of one of our Founding Fathers and the birth of the American Dream. Currently running on Broadway to packed houses and rave reviews “Hamilton” is an ambitious triumph.
“Hamilton” is the story of the First Secretary of the United States Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, and the birth of our country during and after the Amercian Revolution. The musical explores the struggles and victories of the men who forged our country and constitution, cast with many of our Founding Fathers played by African-Amercian actors. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s score includes hip-hop, pop, R & B, and traditional Broadway musical numbers that fit the book perfectly. Leading the great ensemble cast is Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton. His performance is exceptional and he handles his musical numbers with skill. One of the great supporting perfomances in “Hamilton” belongs to Daveed Diggs, who portrays both the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. Diggs is a newcomer to the Broadway and he commands the stage. One of the most electric moments in the show is a political debate between Hamilton and Jefferson played as an old school rap battle. Leslie Odom, Jr. delivers the most moving performance of the show as Aaron Burr. His solo number “The Room Where It Happens” captures the emotional and political complexities of Burr. Director Thomas Kail, who helmed “In The Heights”, brilliantly handles the job of bringing this musically & thematically intricate story to life.
“Hamilton” is frequently described as a “Hip-Hop Musical” but it’s musical styles are far more diverse. There are songs that are tradional Broadway musical numbers, jazz influenced, pop, R&B and rap. The genius of this score is how all the different styles work well togther to create a unified experience. The book & lyrics for “Hamilton” are equally amazing. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s dialogue and lyrics tell the story of Hamilton and the American Revolution in a fresh and exciting way. “Hamilton” is the most exciting musical to hit Broadway in years.
Hamilton Production photos by Joan Marcus
Richard Rodgers Theatre
226 West 46th Street
New York City