Tag Archive: Lin-Manuel Miranda

So You’re About To See Hamilton …

Christopher Jackson as George Washington in "Hamilton". Photo Joan Marcus.

In the five seconds it takes Baby June to sing out Gypsy’s

“Let me entertain you. Let me make you smile,”

Lafayette in Hamilton’s “Guns and Ships” will have sung “I’m takin’ this horse by the reins makin’ redcoats redder with bloodstains. Lafayette. And I’m never gonna stop until I make ‘em drip, burn ‘em up and scatter their remains, I’m Lafayette”

That’s 9 words for Gypsy versus 32 words for Hamilton, nearly four times as many. Granted, “Guns and Ships” is one of the faster songs, but know this: there are about 24,000 words in Hamilton according to the book,  Hamilton The Revolution. That’s more than The Merchant of Venice! So if you think you’re going catch all the words when you see the show without a bit of study, think again. Even with headphones or sitting right under a speaker (where I sat), you will miss a lot. With Hamilton, you won’t want to miss a thing.

HAMILTON: An American Musical — at the Richard Rodgers Theatre following its premiere at the Public Theater

Leslie Odom, Jr as Aaron Burr in Hamilton. Photo Joan Marcus.

It is daunting to attend Hamilton. The expectations are overwhelming: Raves in all the papers including two in the New York Times – and rap!  All the songs and dialogue are in rap, that popular and often angry form of music, where every other word rhymes with truck, and the melodies are few and far between. What is a classical music lover to do? If one loves Hamilton, will it be true love or is one just going along with the crowd? If one doesn’t love it, is one incapable of expanding one’s horizons?