A revolutionary Broadway show is sweeping the nation and changing the lives of students everywhere. Hamilton is a hip-hop musical about the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Its book, lyrics, and music are written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also played the titular character. At the 2015 Tony Awards, Hamilton received a record-breaking 16 nominations and 11 wins, including Best Musical and Best Actor. In the show, Alexander Hamilton, a self-made man, comes to America and fights along George Washington in the Revolutionary War. He struggles to form the foundation of the nation, going head-to-head with Thomas Jefferson in cabinet meetings turned into rap battles, watching and participating in several duels, and becoming involved in a love triangle and an affair. Hamilton’s unprecedented popularity has made it very difficult to get into, with some tickets selling for upwards of $2,000. Hamilton has a rabid fan base, including those who have never even seen the show in person. This includes many San Marin students, such as Olivia Gonzalez.
“I like Hamilton because it’s different,” Gonzalez said. “It’s unique and I always appreciate differences. It’s very educational and historically accurate, and I learned several things about Hamilton and the growth of our nation that I didn’t know about.”
Junior Hannah Leonard and sophomore Brigid O’Brien both traveled to New York City separately last year and saw Hamilton.
“The best part about it was that even though I knew all the lyrics by heart, it felt like it was my first time hearing the music and story. I was in awe and utter shock the whole time. It’s such an inspiring story with such complex yet relatable characters. Hamilton gives me so much motivation to do great things with my life and make a difference. It gives me hope that if he rose from poverty and created an everlasting legacy, I can achieve my dreams as well,” Leonard said.
“The show was beyond anything I ever imagined and absolutely blew my mind and left me speechless,” O’Brien said. “I felt as if I was living the story as it was being performed. Lin-Manuel Miranda even wrote me a letter after I saw the show for the second time in June. Hamilton has become more than just a musical to me. Right before I started listening to it I got some really rough news that I’m still trying to live with. I lost sight of the goals I had for my life for a while, and it sounds super dramatic, but Hamilton actually helped me more than I can say to get my life back on track.”
After the show, Leonard and O’Brien went to the stage door of the theater, met the cast, took pictures, and had them sign their Playbills. They saw the show with its original cast, many of whom have become celebrities because of their roles in the show, making appearances at the White House, on Saturday Night Live, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. A PBS documentary, “Hamilton’s America,” debuted in October, telling the story of the making of the show.
Hamilton is going on a national tour beginning March 2017 with a stop in San Francisco, allowing fans all over the country to have a chance to see the show without traveling to New York.