Miranda and I have a young adult author friend in common, and while he was rehearsing for “Hamilton,” I met him at one of her book signings (turns out they attended Wesleyan together, and if you haven’t watched his recent commencement speech, you must). It was then that something clicked in my mind: Miranda is this generation’s Larson. The generation before saw Andrew Lloyd Webber, who mesmerized global audiences with “Cats” and “The Phantom of the Opera.” Miranda’s work is some of the most unique theater the NYC stages have seen in years, or at least, that I’ve seen.
By the time “Hamilton” hit Off-Broadway stages, the buzz had climbed a mountain and it was impossible to get tickets. I listened to one person after another talk about it and silently waited for my turn to see it. When it came, just as its Off-Broadway run was coming to an end, “Hamilton” had already been extended three times at the Public Theater. For its Broadway run, it's moving to the Richard Rodgers Theatre this summer.
Following in the footsteps of plays like “Rent,” which took the same route from Off-Broadway to Broadway in the 1990s, “Hamilton” is a dose of innovative, edgy history that got under my skin and left me fascinated. From the moment the cast started bringing presidential history to life using hip-hop, rapping, and exquisitely composed songs and dialogue, I was transfixed. My mind at first started spinning trying to remember what I knew about Alexander Hamilton, a founding father and prominent figure in U.S. history. My mind was quickly put to rest, and I let Miranda’s method of storytelling do its magic. With every line of dialogue, with every song, with every cast member, I felt more drawn in, and, in a way, spellbound.
Miranda plays Hamilton and leads his cast through 34 songs that tell the story of his character’s life. The supporting cast is equally talented, all singing and dancing with extreme emotions and enough force to take a house down. They include Leslie Odom, Jr. (give him a Tony Award now!), Daveed Diggs, Christopher Jackson, and Phillipa Soo. I’m glad I got to see this cast of well knowns and breakout stars in the early days of the show.
About this Show Goer
Holly Rosen Fink is a freelance writer, owner of The Culture Mom and marketing consultant. She lives in Larchmont, New York.