Review: Hamilton

Yeah, you know what Hamilton I’m talking about.

Context: I began following the musical Hamilton right after it exploded onto the theater scene. I was really interested in the show during its regional run at the Public Theater, because of all the critical acclaim it received, but I lost touch with the show and Broadway (and essentially the world all together) during my graduation/college application season last year. Hamilton came back up on my radar when the soundtrack was released in September, and I finally got around to listening to it over winter break.

Hamilton 2.1

Positives: Ohh, where do I begin?! The soundtrack (and therefore I assume the entire show) is absolutely fantastic. The vocal talent of the cast is undeniable, along Lin-Manuel Miranda’s skills as a writer, in the moving melodies and stunning harmonies of the music. My favorite song is probably Wait for It, sung by Leslie Odom Jr., playing Aaron Burr. Burr’s character is the one I identify most with in the show, and there is so much latent emotion and power in that song that I find it riveting. The acting talent is clear through the soundtrack.

And it is so, so creative. Multiple themes weave in and out through the show, some following particular characters or similar, and are accompanied by musical motifs. The vocabulary and narrative packed into the music continues to amaze me, even though I listen to it basically on a daily basis.

Negatives: Though I am typically a fan of ensemble pieces in theater (Newsies, remember?), there are times when the ensemble in Hamilton can be a bit overwhelming to listen to. But that is really a personal preference and beyond it? I can hardly complain. I really love this show.

Summary: Hamilton completely lives up to the hype. It outdoes the hype. You really must just sit down one time and listen to the soundtrack all the way through. It’s beautiful, entertaining, empowering, and intelligent beyond anything I personally would have imagined. My enthusiasm for the current Broadway scene was on the wane, and Hamilton completely renewed it and set me into a theater frenzy once more.


XX. Shelby Jo


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