On May 12th 2009, Lin Manuel Miranda performed at the White House Poetry Jam. Taking to the stage he was met by laughter as he told the audience “I’m actually working on a hip hop album, it’s a concept album about the life of someone I think embodies hip hop, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.”
Fast forward eight years and this musical is now known as one of the most successful that has graced a Broadway stage. With sold out runs, a controversial altercation with Mike Pence as he was booed by his fellow audience members when watching the show, a host of celebrity fans including Oprah, Beyonce, Jay Z, Meryl Streep and The Obamas, as well as a Pulitzer Prize and an impressive eleven Tony Awards, Hamilton isn’t making a quiet entry into the streets of Victoria.
The musical follows one of America’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant and orphan, as he becomes George Washington’s right hand man, sets up America’s first bank, and writes two thirds of the Federalist Papers. It will have some British self loathing as a selfish King George III sings to the US, “You belong to me”, whilst the Marquis de Lafayette colludes with America to fuel the successful French revolution.
The Hamilton musical also includes the first political case of adultery that was seen in the public eye, as Hamilton is rumoured to have had his fair share of extra-marital affairs. Hamilton has plenty of music of all genres, with rap, hip hop and pop showing the excitement of a revolution and the war scenes, coincidentally stressing an anti-Brexit tone as Hamilton and Lafayette sing “immigrants, we get the job done.” But if this isn’t quite your scene, the music slows down for the tear-jerker moments as well. Hamilton devastatingly loses a young son as well as tragically dying himself at the tender age of forty-seven in a duel with one of his oldest friends turned political competitor, Aaron Burr.
After months of development, Victoria Palace Theatre will be re-opening to a highly anticipated Hamilton run. Ben Brantley, The New York Times’ theatre critic has even suggested re-mortgaging and leasing your children to get tickets to this show. Although we don’t suggest leasing your children, it’s certainly a must-see for 2018.
With the first release of tickets selling out, and the second release heading in the same direction, it’s worth splurging to see what Lea Michele dubs ‘one of the best nights on Broadway’ as it heads across the pond.
Barack Obama has described the show as being a musical “phenomenon, a smash hit, captivating the entire country. It has become a favourite in the Obama household.” Needless to say it is a solid favourite in many households, and will surely grow once it debuts on 6th December 2017 at Victoria Palace Theatre.
In 2016, seven years after laughing at the first sample of a rapping politician from the late eighteenth-century, Obama told a Hamilton audience, “But Lin-Manuel was serious, who’s laughing now?”
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