I saw “Hamilton” last night. The verdict? It’s very good.
So, my mom has been a season ticket holder in the Des Moines Civic Center for years. She’s seen all the major broadway stuff that’s come through. But with her mobility issues, she hasn’t been able to go to much this year.
And she couldn’t use her Hamilton ticket. So I drove to Des Moines yesterday afternoon so that I could witness the phenomenon.
My overall take-away is that Hamilton really isn’t a broadway show. It’s an art piece that you experience.
It’s a 3 hour history lesson with singing and rapping and modern dance choreography.
I went in having not ever listened to the soundtrack. I knew “of” a few songs and the general concept but not much more than that.
What I was impressed with most was the diversity. That theme ran through everything– from musical styles to casting choices.
I mean, how delicious is it to have a Black Thomas Jefferson and an Asian George Washington??
My favorite character in this production was Aaron Burr. He was awesome- and so fucking handsome! And his diction was perfect.
I guess he was the understudy for the roll on Broadway. He was fantastic.
My next favorite character was King George:
The foppish, pouty King had the best comedic moments of the evening.
Everyone else in the cast was very good too, from Hamilton to Eliza to Layfayette to… you name it.
What impressed me so much with the show was just the overall production. It’s seamless and so damn clever! The whole thing just flows from beginning to end.
The chorus does so much heavy lifting- moving set pieces and props, modern dance with thematic movement, musical choral parts, etc, and it’s all done so smoothly.
And there’s a circular, rotating stage that adds another dimension to movement (particularly effective during the eye of a hurricane number).
There are enough musical motifs that get repeated which act to ground you and tie you back to previous action (my shot, look around, it must be nice, etc). But the motifs change and turn sad or angry for effect. And the foreshadowing through musical themes is amazing (especially with th counting/duel and Hamilton’s son).
And the double meaning of the “not throwing away my shot” — in terms of grabbing opportunities or in the dueling with pistols…. just so much cleverness.
There’s a lot to unpack in this — this art work. It’s no wonder that it won a Pulitzer and 11 Tony’s and countless other accolades. It deserves them.
I highly recommend seeing it. It is definitely an educational, impressive piece of art that everyone should see. Hopefully cost will come down– I certainly lucked out with my ticket.