Rap Gives the American Revolution a New Life on Broadway

Rap Gives the American Revolution a New Life on Broadway

Chloe Merkley, Journalist

Lin-Manuel Miranda uses music to tell the story of the forgotten founding father, Alexander Hamilton, who made an impression to help create the foundation of our country to evolve. Hamilton tells the story of a group of rebels fighting for America, not only in war but behind the curtain with the power of ink on paper, in order to raise a glass to freedom. Director Thomas Kail and Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer and star of the musical, inform us of the history of our country and the fight for freedom in a funny, witty, emotional rollercoaster. 

Throughout the musical, we  are  remind of the American ideal vision of freedom and the fight against slavery during the 18th century. Most of us have forgotten what the leaders of America did so we could be free and have the right to stand up for what we believe in. Some of the songs in the musical include lyrics about African American and immigrant life, getting us to think about and relate to the current Black Lives Matter movement.

Hamilton explains how a man with many struggles going through unspeakable tragic life events, can become a national phenomenon. “In New York you can be a new man,” a line from the opening song, Alexander Hamilton, the cast talks about the man the whole world seems to be against, can end up exceeding all expectations by working hard and educate yourself to leave all your trouble’s behind to start a new life and reach your full potential. “Trying to reach my goal, my power of speech, unimpeachable. Only 19 but my mind is older”, sings Miranda in the number one hit, My Shot. He talks about how Hamilton’s older mindset and learning to be a hard worker, gave him the upper hand to take every opportunity he got to succeed. This tells the people watching this film that no matter how he grew up, he could do things that not only common citizens, but also his enemies would admire him for. 

Not only does this wonderful Broadway play enlighten us on the men in the American Revolution and how they fought, but also talks about powerful females telling their story.“When I meet Thomas Jefferson, imma compel him to include women in the equal, WORK” Renee Goldsberry sings from Angelica Schuyler’s point of view in The Schuyler Sisters about how even though there is an upcoming revolution in New York for the United States, she is motivated by the revelation in society to show that men and women are equal.

Hamilton would not be talked up to be “One of the greatest musicals of all time!” if it didn’t show multiple angles being played in the revolution. Each character in the musical describes their life and how they grew up to show that all different kinds of people can come together. Such as Elizabeth Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton sticking together through it all to how he finds other men, all from different ethnic backgrounds to fight beside him, in a group effort working towards the same goal. We can also not forget about the opposer, yet overall hilarious and enticing character, King George, played by Jonathan Groff, an actor who can make the viewer die of laughter. Be sure the audience doesn’t get too close to the stage and watch out when he yells cause they might be in the splash zone.

The beautiful, but also, powerful voice of Goldsberry acting as Angelica Schuyler communicates her determination of equal rights for women and the haunting, yet divine voice of Phillipa Soo playing the role Elizabeth Schuyler, talking about her excitement to find the man of her dreams and live a fantasy lifestyle, can show that not every woman wants the same things or has similar motivations. The film also shows Miranda’s amazing song writing skills from rap to romantic melodies, portrayed through his performing talents and ability to connect with the audience

Obviously it is not common for adolescents to be uninterested in history at school these days, but for the musical genius Miranda, it was almost too easy. The grasping and heart felt stories in the musical will leave every person in the crowd in laughter, wonder, and admiration. From the heart tugging yet risky love affair between Theodosia, the wife of a British General, and Leslie Odom, playing the role of Aaron Burr, a politician wanting his words to be heard behind Hamilton’s shadow, to transporting the viewers to the seemingly unbreakable friendships, such as Angelica and Alexander. The film allows every person to relate it to something in their life. 

The film Hamilton sheads light on a unique way to portray information to a modern audience containing political points, family tragedies, and sex scandels resulting in an overall captivating performance. Little lines in the film will knock the viewers’ socks off and others can possibly leave a tear of joy or sorrow running down one’s  face. This film also can inspire and teach people about our nation’s past that without the works of Miranda and many more talented actors and singers would not have been possible.

Miranda and Kail’s recreation of America’s past can be taken from the streets of Broadway to the comfort of home on Disney plus. Hamilton can leave everyone feeling determined to take on a new and more positive version of YOU. Take into consideration what people say in the film, because it can ultimately change your perspective on life. Just like Hamilton said “I am not throwing away my shot!”