Broadway

Hamilton

Lin-Manuel Miranda performing in Hamilton

If you’ve been following Broadway happenings recently, you’ve probably heard of Hamilton. This unique story of the Founding Fathers of America is an unlikely hit for Broadway, as it includes a combination of hip-hop, rap, soul, and show tunes, as well as non-white actors starring as the Founding Fathers and other historical figures.

Ever since it had opened off-Broadway in February 2015, Hamilton received critical acclaim and was always sold-out during its several-month engagement. After its release on Broadway in August 2015, the musical won 11 Tony Awards and eight Drama Desk Awards. Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the music, lyrics, and book for this musical.

Production History

The inspiration for Hamilton came to Lin-Manuel Miranda after reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton while on vacation in 2008. He wrote a rap about Hamilton that he performed at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word on May 2009. He continued on to write more pieces, and by 2012, Miranda was performing an extended set of pieces based on Hamilton’s life.

Off-Broadway production

Hamilton opened off-Broadway at the Public Theater, with previews starting on January 20, 2015, and officially opening in February. The show opened to universal acclaim.

The show was directed by Thomas Kail and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler. It’s produced by Jeffrey Seller with sets by David Korins, lighting by Howell Binkley, sound by Nevin Steinberg, and costumes by Paul Tazewell. The cast included:

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton
  • Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton
  • Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr
  • Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler
  • Christopher Jackson as George Washington
  • Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson
  • OkierieteOnaodowan as Hercules Mulligan and James Madison
  • Brian d’Arcy James as King George III
  • Anthony Ramos as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton
  • Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds

Broadway production

In July 2015, Hamilton premiered on Broadway at the Richards Rodgers Theatre in previews and officially opened August 2015. It retained the same production team and the same cast, with Jonathan Groff as King George III to replace Brian d’Arcy James. The production was highly acclaimed by critics and won a whopping 11 Tony Awards.

The show is still ongoing, but as of March 12, 2020, the production was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Plot Overview

Hamilton is one of the most significant musical of its decade, as the show breathed vibrant and colorful life to the story of American founding fathers.

The musical revolves around the story of Alexander Hamilton, the founding father of the United States, whose ambition drove him from the position of being a bastard child and a Caribbean outsider to American war hero at the right hand of George Washington. In the process, Hamilton helped shape America as we have come to know it. He gave the template of what it means to realize the American dream.

Songs

Act I

  • “Alexander Hamilton” – Burr, Laurens, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Eliza, Washington, and Company
  • “Aaron Burr, Sir” – Hamilton, Burr, Laurens, Lafayette, and Mulligan, and Company
  • “My Shot” – Hamilton, Laurens, Lafayette, Mulligan, Burr, and Company
  • “The Story of Tonight” – Hamilton, Laurens, Mulligan, Lafayette, and Company
  • “The Schuyler Sisters” – Angelica, Eliza, Peggy, Burr, and Company
  • “Farmer Refuted” – Seabury, Hamilton, Burr, and Company
  • “You’ll Be Back” – King George III and Company
  • “Right Hand Man” – Washington, Hamilton, Burr, and Company
  • “A Winter’s Ball” – Burr, Hamilton, and Company
  • “Helpless” – Eliza and Company
  • “Satisfied” – Angelica and Company
  • “The Story of Tonight (Reprise)” – Laurens, Mulligan, Lafayette, Hamilton, and Burr
  • “Wait for It” – Burr and Company
  • “Stay Alive” – Hamilton, Washington, Laurens, Lafayette, Mulligan, Lee, Eliza, Angelica, and Company
  • “Ten Duel Commandments” – Laurens, Hamilton, Lee, Burr, and Company
  • “Meet Me Inside” – Hamilton, Burr, Laurens, Washington, and Company
  • “That Would Be Enough” – Eliza and Hamilton
  • “Guns and Ships” – Burr, Lafayette, Washington, and Company
  • “History Has Its Eyes on You” – Washington, Hamilton, and Company
  • “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” – Hamilton, Lafayette, Laurens, Mulligan, Washington, and Company[a]
  • “What Comes Next?” – King George III
  • “Dear Theodosia” – Burr and Hamilton
  • “Tomorrow There’ll Be More of Us” – Laurens, Eliza, and Hamilton
  • “Non-Stop” – Burr, Hamilton, Angelica, Eliza, Washington, and Company

Act II

  • “What’d I Miss?” – Jefferson, Burr, Madison, and Company
  • “Cabinet Battle #1” – Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison
  • “Take a Break” – Eliza, Philip, Hamilton, and Angelica
  • “Say No to This” – Maria Reynolds, Burr, Hamilton, James Reynolds, and Company
  • “The Room Where It Happens” – Burr, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, and Company
  • “Schuyler Defeated” – Philip, Eliza, Hamilton, and Burr
  • “Cabinet Battle #2” – Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison
  • “Washington on Your Side” – Burr, Jefferson, Madison, and Company
  • “One Last Time” – Washington, Hamilton, and Compan
  • “I Know Him” – King George III
  • “The Adams Administration” – Burr, Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, and Company
  • “We Know” – Hamilton, Jefferson, Burr, and Madison
  • “Hurricane” – Hamilton and Company
  • “The Reynolds Pamphlet” – Jefferson, Madison, Burr, Hamilton, Angelica, James Reynolds, and Company
  • “Burn” – Eliza
  • “Blow Us All Away” – Philip, Martha, Dolly, Eacker, Hamilton, and Company
  • “Stay Alive (Reprise)” – Hamilton, Philip, Eliza, and Company
  • “It’s Quiet Uptown” – Angelica, Hamilton, Eliza, and Company
  • “The Election of 1800” – Jefferson, Madison, Burr, Hamilton, and Company
  • “Your Obedient Servant” – Burr, Hamilton, and Company
  • “Best of Wives and Best of Women” – Eliza and Hamilton
  • “The World Was Wide Enough” – Burr, Hamilton, and Company
  • “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” – Eliza and Company

Awards

Original Off-Broadway productions

  • Outstanding Musical, Lucille Lortel Awards (2015)
  • Outstanding Director, Lucille Lortel Awards (2015) – Thomas Kail
  • Outstanding Choreographer, Lucille Lortel Awards (2015) – Andy Blankenbuehler
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical, Lucille Lortel Awards (2015) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical, Lucille Lortel Awards (2015) – Phillipa Soo
  • Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, Lucille Lortel Awards (2015) – Daveed Diggs
  • Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Lucille Lortel Awards (2015) – Renée Elise Goldsberry
  • Outstanding Costume Design, Lucille Lortel Awards (2015) – Paul Tazewell
  • Outstanding Lighting Design, Lucille Lortel Awards (2015) – Howell Binkley
  • Outstanding Sound Design, Lucille Lortel Awards (2015) – Nevin Steinberg
  • Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical, Outer Critics Circle Awards (2015)
  • Outstanding Book of a Musical, Outer Critics Circle Awards (2015) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Outstanding New Score, Outer Critics Circle Awards (2015) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Outstanding Musical, Drama Desk Awards (2015)
  • Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Drama Desk Awards (2015) –Renée Elise Goldsberry
  • Outstanding Director of a Musical, Drama Desk Awards (2015) – Thomas Kail
  • Outstanding Music, Drama Desk Awards (2015) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Outstanding Lyrics, Drama Desk Awards (2015) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Outstanding Book of a Musical, Drama Desk Awards (2015) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical, Drama Desk Awards (2015) – Nevin Steinberg
  • Special Award, Drama Desk Awards (2015) – Andy Blankenbuehler
  • Best Musical, New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards (2015)
  • Best New Musical, Off-Broadway Alliance Awards (2015)
  • Outstanding Debut Performance, Theatre World Awards (2015) – Daveed Diggs
  • Most Promising Female Performer, Clarence Derwent Awards (2015) – Phillipa Soo
  • Best New American Theatre Work, Obie Awards (2015) – Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler, Alex Lacamoire
  • Edgerton Foundation New American Play Awards (2015)

Original Broadway production

  • Best Musical, Tony Awards (2016)
  • Best Book of a Musical, Tony Awards (2016) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Best Original Score, Tony Awards (2016) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Best Actor in a Musical, Tony Awards (2016) – Leslie Odom Jr.
  • Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Tony Awards (2016) – Daveed Diggs
  • Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Tony Awards (2016) – Renée Elise Goldsberry
  • Best Costume Design of a Musical, Tony Awards (2016) – Paul Tazewell
  • Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Tony Awards (2016) – Howell Binkley
  • Best Direction of a Musical, Tony Awards (2016) – Thomas Kail
  • Best Choreography, Tony Awards (2016) – Andy Blankenbuehler
  • Best Orchestrations, Tony Awards (2016) – Alex Lacamoire
  • Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical, Drama League Awards (2016)
  • Distinguished Performance, Drama League Awards (2016) – Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Drama, Pulitzer Prize (2016) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Best Musical Theater Album, Grammy Awards (2016)
  • Top Soundtrack/Cast Album, Billboard Music Award (2017)
  • Kennedy Center Honors (2018) – Lin-Manuel Miranda, Andy Blankenbuehler, Alex Lacamoire, and Thomas Kail

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