Hi! I felt it was absolutely necessary to discuss my excitement for Hamilton’s debut on Disney Plus this weekend, which has me feeling like this:
For some context, Hamilton is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s genius telling of U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton’s story and legacy through a hip-hop musical. It’s incredibly clever, hilarious, poignant, chock-full of talented people and even educational!
I was lucky enough to see the Chicago production of Hamilton in 2017 (one of the best nights ever) in addition to religiously listening to the musical’s soundtrack since 2016.
So, this weekend, Disney Plus released the recording of the original Broadway cast’s performance. Interacting with the show in this new way gave me a new level of appreciation for the musical. With each song, I got a new wave of goosebumps (and there are 46 songs total.) It’s very special to witness a group of extremely talented individuals absolutely thriving on stage and telling a story that is woven together through witty lyrics, alluring visuals and countless other brilliant intricacies.
I could probably write an entire series of blog posts about different elements of the musical, but for now, I want to talk about how topically relevant the show is to today.
It’s fitting to me that this was released on Fourth of July weekend. Not only does the story center around the Revolutionary War and American’s independence, but the show also possesses a relevant theme throughout: pushing the boundaries of what is accepted to achieve something better. As the United States turns another year older, it’s important to look back on what we’ve achieved in the last 244 years and celebrate that. But it’s also important to recognize the road ahead, the work that is still to be done and the amazing things we are capable of doing in the future.
As George Washington tasks Alexander Hamilton with leading a field command towards the end of the war, he sings “History Has Its Eyes On You,” warning him of the immense responsibility that comes with power and influence.
We are a country made up of brilliant minds and big hearts. We are a country made up of different races, ethnicities, backgrounds and stories. We are a country made up of talent, innovation, knowledge, creativity and hope. We are a country that has some work to do.
The recent tragic murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have reinforced the long overdue need for equality and have kept the conversation about racism at national attention (where it should be). As a white woman, I recognize my privilege and my responsibility to not remain silent.
We are called to do better and to ensure that we are educated, we are involved and we are changing the way we think and talk about race. As a country, we must do the work to make the unalienable rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” ring true for every single person. History has its eyes on us to ensure that the hate that has been perpetuated for so long ends with us. How will we use our voices to make a difference?
When Alexander Hamilton recognizes the opportunity he has to make a difference and create his legacy, he proudly exclaims:
“I am not throwing away my shot.”
I pray that we vow to do the same.
Click here for a list of resources and ways you can help.
Now, go watch Hamilton and try not to smile, laugh, cry, and fist-pump the air for the sheer cleverness of it all (you will probably do all of these things.) I’m going to go watch it again, and again, and again!