By June of 2016, if you're living in America, you've heard of Hamilton: An American Musical. Outspoken creator, composer, and musical genius Lin-Manuel Miranda has already won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for this particular staggering work. It's been nominated for a record 16 Tony awards, spanning every single category and pitting Hamilton cast members against each other in some cases. The winners will be announced on June 12th.
(Oh, and on the way to all those Tony noms, the cast also swept up a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Just another day for Miranda and his crew.)
What even is Hamilton, though? And if you don't already care, why should you?
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Put another way, it's a musical about the previously little-known life of founding father Alexander Hamilton. Miranda read Ron Chernow's biography of Hamilton, and came up with this idea that drew on the common experience that most Americans have somewhere in their families of being an immigrant and working hard to change the world.
It's told through hip-hop, rap, and amazing choreography, and features the kind of diverse cast that reflects America today. President Obama jokes in the video above that Hamilton is the one thing he and Dick Cheney agree on, and frankly, it's easy to see why.
Earlier this year, US Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew announced that Harriet Tubman would soon be replacing Andrew Jackson (a slaveholder) on the $20 bill. Originally, Lew had announced plans a year before to put an unspecified woman on the $10 bill--but decided to keep Alexander Hamilton's face on current US currency instead, due in part to the Hamilton phenomenon.
But you don't have to take our word for it.
Now that we have you on board, you should know that you can check out the full cast recording streaming for free on Spotify. You can also buy it at all your usual sources. Lyrics and Genius annotations are at this link as well:
If you're planning to visit NYC soon, you may already have guessed that tickets are sold out months in advance. However, the show will soon be touring, so keep that in mind. If nothing but Broadway will do for you, you can buy tickets here if you're lucky:
There's also the daily #Ham4Ham lottery (which will have its own post), where you can enter to be able to purchase two front-row seats for that day's performance for $10 apiece. This used to take place in person in front of the Rodgers every day, but has since been moved online here:
Be sure to follow this story as we take a deep dive into the Hamilton cultural tsunami and keep you up-to-date with all the latest news!