Brendan’s Alternate Tagline: I am…. whelmed.
Quick synopsis: The biography of Alexander Hamilton in musical form.
Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like: Yeah, Hamilton wanted to sex up his sister in law.
Fun Fact for History Nerds: The whole thing is more accurate than it isn’t.
My Take: I mean, it’s fine.
Let’s talk about the history since, you know, that’s what my website is about. It’s pretty good for a musical. It is based on Ron Chernow’s book (which is very good) and follows the flow and major broad strokes really well. There are a few anachronisms, Lafayette was not in the U.S. as early as portrayed, Hamilton meeting and getting in well with Washington was not as fast as it showed, etc. They were not so egregious to be worth pillorying the play over. Hamilton was not nearly as important militarily in the revolution as it seemed.
Now let me switch to “Theater Nerd” Brendan. (What gives me the right and credentials? I played Barnaby Tucker in The Matchmaker in high school. So, suck it.) The hype train went way too far down the tracks on this thing. It is not as good as the sum of its parts. Almost all the actors are fantastic with the exception of Lin-Manuel Miranda (LMM from here on out) who is out of his league. No, I couldn’t do better and that’s also besides the point. His writing is quite good, and this truly is an interesting art piece. The problem is that it is a spectacle and not a moving piece of art. It is interesting, but not transcendent. LMM did something very interesting. It is new.
When I started to watch it, I thought back to the plays I have seen on Broadway. When they are good, you forget you are watching a play and time flies by. To me, the pinnacle is Les Miserables. The most macho idiot you can find will sit through it without realizing how long it is. Each song seems carefully crafted to drag an emotion out of you and does just that. I paused Hamilton multiple times and kept checking how much longer I needed to go. Oh, also WHY IS THE SAME ACTOR PLAYING ONE OF THE BEST PEOPLE EVER AND ONE OF THE WORST PEOPLE EVER?! WHY?! And for those of you who told me to watch this and didn’t warn me, WE ARE IN A FIGHT.
King George III was hilarious.
Ultimately, I’m not going to be singing about throwing away my shot. You can bet your ass I can break out into, “Master of the House,” right now.
Verdict: It’s fine. Don’t listen to the hype beforehand and you’ll probably enjoy it.
If You Liked This Then You Must Watch:
- Les Miserables