The Broadway musical Hamilton is an unprecedented happening in the worlds of both history and musicals. It is a self-aware narrative that actively seeks to dispel the inaccurate portrayal of Alexander Hamilton in the past, which leads to deeper investigation of historical narrative. The musical’s account is unique in that it is being told through the format of a musical. This itself has a great deal of small reasons behind it that make it a very unique and prime for a case study of historical narrative. It is based upon Ron Chernow’s critically acclaimed 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton that was written with the purpose of crafting a ‘more accurate’ narrative that, unlike the alternatives, is not inhibited by the negativity and lack of recognition from many of his peers. This gives the musical a large set of ‘data’ from which to craft its own narrative.
Hamilton, which began previews in New York in the spring of 2015, was already generating a considerable amount of buzz both in publications and through word of mouth. It has gone on to become an unprecedented success that is currently sold out for every show in the next six months and makes around $1.7 million a week. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer, composer, and star, posts often to his Twitter account photographs of himself and the endless flow of celebrities that go to experience the show. It has catapulted the commonly overlooked face of the ten dollar bill from ‘Man Many People Think Was President Because Why Else Would He Be On Our Money? Wait, Franklin Wasn’t One Either?’ to ‘Trendiest Historical Figure of 2016.’ Read the rest of this entry »