I slept through the Broadway revival of ‘1776’ in the late 1990’s so I was more than skeptical about seeing the new musical about Alexander Hamilton. So what if it is written by Lin-Manuel Miranda who wrote the fantastic ‘In the Heights’? So what if the music is more hip hop than Broadway? So what if the script was adapted from Ron Chernow’s great biography? The reason to see Hamilton IS because of all these reasons and because it is fresh and exciting.
The show is more opera than musical, as there are no spoken words. The clever libretto, sung to music ranging from rock to rap, focuses on the tenuous relationship between Hamilton and Aaron Burr. The story is told from Hamilton’s perspective – an illegitimate, immigrant orphan from the Caribbean who becomes Secretary of the Treasury. But Miranda has “tweaked” the story – he cast the country’s founding fathers as people of color and gives women a strong voice.
Miranda has been “teasing” this play for years so it’s not surprising that the run at The Public is sold out and has been extended three times. Rarely do I find that shows live up to the expectations created by buzz. Hamilton not only surpassed my expectations, and the nearly three hours flew by and left me wanting more. Still I am not convinced that Hamilton and Broadway (where it seems to be heading) will be a good fit. But in the land of opportunity, anything is possible. LAR
The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street
Ticket prices: $120/$85 members (Sold out but keep checking the site. Tickets may become available at the last minute. $20 tickets are made available through a lottery on occasion http://www.publictheater.org/en/Public-Theater-Season/Hamilton/
Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Runs thru: May 3, 2015