Hamilton The Musical: Chicago Review

By Hanna Flanagan on April 17, 2017

Broadway plays are a unique art form in the sense that they are pretty inaccessible to someone who does not actually pay for a ticket, even in the age of technology and social media. The Internet has greatly expanded viewing capabilities for other forms of performance art (such as film and television). It is more convenient than ever before to watch a story unfold in popular shows and movies with the invention of apps like Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon.

But this is still not the case with plays. Although their plots and scripts can be transformed to fit a screen, no amount of technology can replace the experience of seeing a live-action Broadway production. And with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s recent creation of Hamilton, this is truly a shame.

Hamilton Playbill

The musical genius of Miranda was recognized at the  70th annual Tony Awards where the play received 11 awards, just shy of the 12 win record set by “The Producers.”

The script of Hamilton is utterly incredible. Mostly because the entire play is a sung-through production; this means that the play was essentially an almost 3-hour-long rhyme. Miranda was able to bring history to life entirely through song and dance, amidst the complex legal and political jargon involved with the subject matter.

Miranda was the first to recognize that the remarkable life of American founding father, Alexander Hamilton, is a story that often gets overlooked by textbooks, but is one that needs to be told — and more importantly, one that needs to be heard.

Hamilton is sometimes overshadowed by the accomplishments of his fellow founding fathers, but Miranda sought to change this through the creation of his play.

In the Chicago version of the Broadway production, Hamilton was portrayed as a young spitfire, eager to make history. Unlike many of his colleagues and friends, Hamilton was never afraid to speak out against the majority or propose unpopular ideas. Although his loud mouth sometimes got him into trouble, he looked controversy and danger right in the eye while others hid from it.

Throughout the play, it was evident that, through his extensive research, Miranda believes this characteristic was the one that helped Hamilton alter history forever.

The funny thing is this: Hamilton was in a position similar to young people across the world right now.

It’s no secret that this period of American history is one that will be studied for many years to come. Similarly, the characters in Hamilton all knew that the Revolution and the construction of the Constitution were going to become an extremely special piece of history as well. While some were frightened by the idea of change, Hamilton was rather inspired by it.

He was a hard working and driven individual. Although he was young, he never backed down and dedicated his life to a cause — and now, 100 years later, his life has been scripted into an 11-time Tony Award-winning play and cultural phenomenon.

Examining the personality traits and decisions that led to the success of famous historical figures is something we can all benefit from, without seeing the popular Broadway play.

But to see these people transform into characters who belt out inspirational tunes about revolution, you will need a plane ticket to Chicago or New York and at least $500.

My name is Hanna Flanagan and I am junior at Missouri State University. My major is journalism and my minors are art history and public relations. I work as a reporter for The Standard and I am also a member of the Missouri State Swim and Dive team. My areas of interest are breaking news and entertainment news writing.

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