21 Things I Love About Hamilton
Last year in Vogue magazine articles appeared about a musical coming to Broadway that would revolutionize theatre. When my husband and I took our daughter to school in New York in August we tried to get tickets. When we realized no one had them we asked the hotel’s concierge. He told us he had one ticket that he was holding for a celebrity who paid $900. That’s when I knew something was afoot. From that moment I was on a quest. Mother's Day weekend I saw Hamilton and I can report what they said is true. After answering questions for so many, at weddings, in the market… and in the spirit of tonight's Hamiltony’s, I have listed some (not all) of my star points.
1) 20,000 New York students will get to see Hamilton, thanks to a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. Lin-Manuel Miranda taught high school and this was important to him.
2) Ron Chernow, author of the book Alexander Hamilton, for writing the book that inspired LMM and accepting invitation to be the historical advisor for the project.
3) Ham4Ham, and the lottery to get front row tickets for $10, my two favorite Ham4Ham’s, LMM and the gone too soon late tenor Kyle Jean-Baptiste singing Confrontation from Les Misérables and LMM and Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday singing Say No to This. For the juice box set can't leave out seven year old Iain Loves Theatre raps both sides of Cabinet Battle 1.
4) Steady work for young talented and educated singers actors and dancers. They are performing at the top of their game in a vehicle that maximizes their talent, the work of dreams, happy for them.
5) Aaron Burr’s sublime glide opening into the musical with that question, How does a bastard, orphan…
7) Daveed Diggs, Ivy League Brown University graduate, spittin rhymes and clocking records, and the way he was not going to miss his spot.
8) Renee Elise Goldsberry, B.A. Carnegie Mellon, M.A. University of Southern California, flawless performer, amazing voice and a real trouper.
9) The genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Wesleyan University graduate, 2015 MacArthur Genius grant, Pulitzer Prize winner, took him six years to write Hamilton, too legit to quit.
10) The Incredible Oak, Okieriete Onaodowan, high school suspensions, though once he found his passion worked multiple jobs to make it happen.
11) Hamilton staged in the era of social media, even if you have not seen the play you can enjoy many aspects of it and have discussions with other Hamilton experts, there’s IG posts, twitter talk, tumblers, and FB. Comments are the best, my favorite, “I just googled Alexander Hamilton, **spoiler alert**did you know he gets shot in a duel with Aaron Burr OMG, how does the play end, I’m crying.”
12) The amazing amalgamation of music that is Hamilton, vocalization, orchestration and rap, regardless the street one comes in on there is something for all.
14) The book, Hamilton: The Revolution, catnip for a person like me, crib notes, illustrations, inner workings, back stories…
15) President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama invited the cast to the White House.
16) Sports writer Joe Posnanski’s post about taking his daughter to see the play.
18) The Wall Street Journal has a video defining rhymes from Hamilton, yes that Wall Street Journal.
19) The Hamilton cast prays.
20) MIT graduate and lawyer Vanessa Nadal, LMM’s wife, enough said.
21) When asked my favorite song, I have to name three, Non-Stop a slick groove that crescendos beautifully. Washington On Your Side, a sick insane rap...but the harmony of the voices. If I can only pick one My Shot, the multilayers of the phrase my shot, and then young, scrappy and hungry, and finally rise up, the rallying cry for many African Americans, women, Christians, it resonates. Rise up, When You’re Living on your Knees you Rise Up, Tell You’re Brother that He’s Gotta Rise Up, Tell your Sister that She’s Gotta Rise Up...