05/08/2018 | 73 MINUTES
This week’s guests: Lib, Dalton, and Ben – we take a break from our regular routine and debrief about the musical phenomenon, Hamilton. The touring cast recently closed in Salt Lake City and the city’s all abuzz. Dalton and Ben talk our ticks and ticks offs (We’re Hamilton’s with Pride and cannot let it slide). Lib steps in to help us avoid nerding out too much, and to provide the outsider insight for one learning about #ham for the first time.
Who is Alexander Hamilton?
- Born in the Caribbean, orphaned, took passage on a ship that was bound for New York after members of his home congregation raised funds. They wanted him to receive an education and return to lead them.
- Enrolled in King’s College (Now, Columbia University in New York), and became General Washington’s Aid-de-Camp in the Revolutionary War, eventually become a General in the Battle of Yorktown.
- After the revolution, became the first Secretary of the Treasury and created our financial system, establishing banks and credit for the Union.
- Lawyer, defender of the US Constitution and Founder of the Federalist Party.
- First political sex scandal in US history.
- Killed in a duel by the former Vice President of the United States, Aaron Burr.
What is the Musical?
- Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote and starred in “In the Heights,” grabbed a few Tony’s, and then needed a vacation.
- Found the biography of Hamilton by Ron Chernow at an airport bookstore. Read to chapter 2 and knew he had to make this into his next hip-hop musical.
- Miranda felt like Alexander Hamilton embodied the essence of hip-hop – writing his way out of his circumstances in the Caribbean to get himself to America.
- Six years later, the musical debuted off-broadway before opening on Broadway on August 6th, 2015.
- 16 Tony Award Nominations (record) with 11 wins (just shy of the record 12 held by The Producers).
- 13 Oliver Award Nominations from London’s West End, winning 7 of them.
Is there controversy?
- Hamilton thrives on a mixed cast. Miranda has said “It’s the America of then, played by the America of now.” And we like that. But some people may find the differences in casting surprising. You got Thomas Jefferson rapping against Alexander Hamilton in cabinet meetings.
- America looks a lot different now than it did in 1776. “Immigrants, we get the job done.”
Ben’s Tick Offs:
- Regarding the show in Salt Lake City, it seems to Ben that people are going to Hamilton to only post about it on social media afterward, keeping up with the crowd.
Dalton’s Tick Offs:
- Uneducated Fans - “Why would you pay that much money?” or “What a waste of money!” Look into what this musical means to our society, this is a cultural event.
- A seeming lack of performance etiquette among SLC fans. “SLC, you guys are killing me.”
- Character Development in Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and Eliza Hamilton
- The Ensemble is ALL IN for this production - to a cast member representing the killing bullet, to mimicking a rowboat taking injured Hamilton back across the Hudson River following the duel.
- The circular stage element that rotates and plays toward the execution of many elements in the show, really creative and artistic.
- Lighting throughout the musical and how it emphasizes specific elements of focus.
- In-Person nuances that you don’t get from listening to the music, you gotta see the show!
Rapid Fire Round:
- Dalton and Ben discuss the most memorable performances of NYC Original Broadway Cast and Salt Lake City Touring Cast, Biggest Disappointments this time around, and Best Song.