By Madina Safdari
What started out as a random book find in an airport for Lin Manuel Miranda is now an eleven-time Tony winner. Showing from August 11 to December 30 at the Hollywood Pantages Theater, “Hamilton” has come a long way from its humble beginnings and has a promising future.
The musical tells the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton through song and rap. The “Hamilton” soundtrack utilizes the influences of hip hop, pop, and R&B. The pairing of these different genres within a musical is not traditional by any means. However, because of this distinctive take on musical theater “Hamilton” is widely successful among diverse crowds.
“What is unique about it is that each character has their own specific style. For example, King George has British and pop influences and the young rebels are more rap oriented because rap is more revolutionary,” English teacher Maureen Grandchamp said.
“Hamilton” is a trailblazer on multiple levels within the theater industry. The social relevance and consciousness of the show that pairs with its political themes make the production even more enticing to watch.
“Hamilton” very clearly has a pro-immigration stance, seeing as Alexander Hamilton himself was an immigrant from the Caribbean who made a notable impact within American history and politics. In a time where the threat of travel bans and walls is high, the song from the Hamilton Mixtape titled “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” serves to resist selective and exclusive thoughts regarding immigration.
Tying in with its theme of immigration, “Hamilton” brings a successful attempt at color conscious casting to the entertainment industry.
The Los Angeles production, along with others nationwide, have casts with mainly people of color playing the lead roles. Miranda did this intentionally to not only represent what America looks like today, but to also create a more inclusive retelling of history.
“Hamilton” has brought in a younger generation of people interested in musical theater. This new audience encourages a more promising future for theater, one that includes minority voices, stories, and experiences through a contemporary outlet such as hip-hop.
Though some may say that the interpretations of history in the play sensationalize the past, there is no doubt that “Hamilton” has spoken to millions of people as a diverse and timely piece of art meant to change theater for the better.