So now we know who Hamilton was and how this theatrical juggernaut started but what about the show itself. In this second part of our Hamilton Beginner’s Guide we look briefly at the Public Theatre tryout season and the phenomena of Ham4Ham. HAMILTON: THE BASIC PREMISE Somewhere along the line as Hamilton was developed a tag line started to be used when speaking abou the production – “Hamilton is the story of American then told by Americans now”. This simple yet bold statement allowed for some of the most diverse casting in musical theatre history. Miranda said “It’s a way of pulling you into the story and allowing you to leave whatever cultural baggage you have about the founding fathers at the door.” He noted “We’re telling the story of old, dead white men but we’re using actors of color, and that makes the story more immediate and more accessible … Read more
Director Andy Blankenbuehler has achieved something remarkable and electrifying here. Together with David Korins (Scenic design), Jeff Croiter (Lighting design) and Paloma Young (Costume design), Blankenbuehler creates a theatrical language and feel which is seductive and powerful. At most times, the sense of theatre, music and war co-exist, permanently reminding of the scars of battle borne by the musicians whose story lies at the heart of the musical. Occasionally scenes or vignettes jolt you from the happy place of clubs and nightspots swinging and evoke a world of dog tags and distress. It’s smoothly and smartly done; perfectly executed.
Directed by Thomas Kail, with astonishing choreography from Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton is a remarkable piece of theatrical alchemy; inspiring, packed with historical interest, revelatory about the problems that beset the founding fathers and, yet, intensely human. Lin-Manuel Miranda is electrifying as Hamilton. It’s a real tour de force, full of passion and absolute commitment. Jonathan Groff is blisteringly good as the odious King George.