Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story?
If you were to imagine a wordy musical with an abundance of rap music, performers of color playing most of the major roles, stories of arcane historical events surrounding biography of an immigrant Treasury secretary… you wouldn’t think it would be a hit, right?
“Hamilton” has become a cultural phenomenon since its Broadway premiere in 2015. This breakthrough musical defies rules and appeals to nontraditional audiences in unexpected ways. The most masterful aspect of “Hamilton” is its combination of musical styles, weaving hip-hop, ballads, and touches of various composers that honors traditions while pushing boundaries. Hamilton draws a varied audience, from the traditional musical-theater fan along with those who would never consider stepping into a music hall.
“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda read author Ron Chernow’s biography about Hamilton, and began to imagine it as a musical. “I was like, ‘This is an album. No, this is a show. How has no one done this?’ It was the fact that Hamilton wrote his way off the island where he grew up. That’s the hip-hop narrative,” Miranda told Vogue.
“Hamilton” also displays many of the features of a classic musical: It has a hero who has forces against him, a romance that is threatened and songs about want and desire. The theater audiences will be taken on a journey with no “stops,” as the choreography and set-changes work simultaneously within the score. It gives you everything a traditional musical should give.
The tour presents three different casts. The Philip Cast is now playing in Detroit at the Fisher Theater until December 4, 2022. The show lasts for 2 hours and 45 minutes with one 15-minute intermission.
The Fisher Theater describes “Hamilton” as “the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, HAMILTON has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre—a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education. With book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, HAMILTON is based on Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography. It has won Tony®, Grammy®, and Olivier Awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and an unprecedented special citation from the Kennedy Center Honors.”
Hamilton was nominated for a record 16 Tony awards and won 11, including best music. Since then the musical has won other many top awards, such as a Grammy and a Pulitzer Prize in 2016.