Here’s a little post I drafted almost exactly two years ago but never published. I’m going to post it just for the historical significance: It’s amazing to hear myself trying to sell people on Hamilton!
We are crazy about Hamilton at our house. The musical debuted just a year ago (which is now three years ago) off-Broadway — where it sold out its entire engagement — and opened on Broadway back in August 2015. The advance ticket sales have been unprecedented; you can hardly get a ticket. Obviously, we haven’t had a chance to see it performed, but thanks to the magic of Spotify, we’ve been listening to the soundtrack non-stop.
All of us became Lin-Manuel Miranda fans when Quinland performed in the ensemble of the production of his first musical, In the Heights, last fall, but Hamilton, his second show, has kicked that show to the curb.
It is phenomenal. I mean, the man has told the life story of the guy on the $10 bill completely in song. Hip-hop. Show tunes. Rap battles. Ballads. Some harpsichord. Even, fittingly, a little British Invasion. He has done it so compellingly that you are completely sucked in — to the narrative, to the history, to the songs.
Quinland lured me in with “Helpless,” the song in which Alexander Hamilton meets his wife Elizabeth Schuyler. It is amazingly catchy.
I got curious.
I googled “Hamilton Musical” and discovered that Miranda had originally performed the opening number (about Hamilton’s younger years) at the White House and got a standing ovation from the Obamas. I watched him on The Tonight Show back in November, where Jimmy Fallon raved and hugged him and called him a genius and told everyone to see Hamilton: “It will change your life!”
Lines from the show pop into my head constantly. Lately, I’ve been thinking about “Wait For It” (Aaron Burr’s showstopper of a soliloquy, incredibly performed by Leslie Odom, Jr.) all the time.
That’s as far as I got, back when I first drafted this post. Then, as now, I couldn’t convey my feelings for that chorus adequately. It’s not that I feel like Burr, exactly; I’m certainly not constantly changing my stance to conform to others. But oh, that feeling he has, knowing he’s capable of achieving so much more, watching A. Ham work so hard and find such success, while he plays it safe and… well… waits.
As my blog competitor, qthompso, would say, “That’s where they get you.”