Hamilton: Broadway, Billions, and Hip-Hop. An American Musical Tale

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by vrDrew, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Midlife, Midwest
    Unless you've been living under a rock for the past year or so, you've probably heard about Hamilton, the critically acclaimed, and now perennially sold-out Broadway show that retells the life of Alexander Hamilton in a mix of hip-hop; Britpop, and R&B.

    This weekend's New York Times has an interesting breakdown of the finances behind this show, which is expected to earn well over a billion dollars in its current form, and with productions opening in Chicago and San Diego later this year, that figure will probably grow.

    In order to combat rampant scalping of tickets (which now regularly sell for several thousand dollars on the secondary market) the producers have raised the top price of a ticket to $895. But they have simultaneously doubled the number of "lottery" tickets available for $10. The producers have also partnered with educational foundations to make the show available to thousands of high school students. Educators report that recasting debates among the Founding Fathers in hop-hop cadences (as well as many of the leading personages as latino or African-American) has sparked an intense interest among students of the time period and the issues of the time.

    I'm definitely gong to do my best to see the show once it opens in Chicago. The Broadway cast album, while pretty good, somehow doesn't do justice to the entire experience.
  2. Populism macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2014
    Thanks for the condescension.

    So, how are you, vrDrew?


    So, what's the issue, vrDrew?
  3. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Jun 20, 2010
    In that case, isn't Hamilton the equivalent of the racist mathematics seen in another thread? Spurring interest in math by linking to its necessity in becoming a drug kingpin? Or in managing your government handouts?
  4. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Midlife, Midwest
    I fail to see any connection whatsoever. But then that's true of a lot of the responses I see from the usual suspects.

    The success of Hamilton is interesting on a number of levels. Starting with the fact that we seem to have a pretty much inexhaustible supply of people who can afford to pay between $1000 or more for an evening of musical theater. That would argue, at the very least, that financially things aren't doing too badly in this country, and that whatever the tax rates of top earners might be, they aren't causing too much pain, at least among the haute bourgeoisie.

    Then there is the undeniable evidence Hamilton provides of the acceptance and celebration of hip-hop and rap in the wider cultural and social community. In many ways this is no different from the earlier acceptance of jazz, blues, and later rock music. But while Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar might have brought electric guitars into the orchestra pit, musically they aren't terribly different form Oklahoma or Fiddler on the Roof.
  5. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
  6. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    Those of us who like musical theater...like musical theater. I loved Lynn Manuel Miranda's last Tony nominated show In The Heights. He's brilliant. Broadway has always been a place to defy traditional roles by casting Black or Hispanic performers in roles originated by White artists. Not to mention pioneering roles for non-White performers.

    I'm hoping the success of Hamilton as an historical piece will rekindle interest in other musicals like 1776 and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.
  7. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Jun 20, 2010
    I've had my share of Broadway hits that didn't live up to the hype, and I've curtailed that kind of spending.

    I'm suspecting Hamilton is fully hyped and not worth the price of entry. It gets to the point where, "I paid a thousand dollars and I'm going to have a great time, damnit!" or "you paid how much?!, what was it like? "Oh, the absolute best!!"

    In the end, we should all be glad that there were no shootings during Hamilton for all this time, given the hiphop element in the show, considering how recently it happened in last month's hip hop concert at Irving Plaza.

  8. aaronvan Suspended


    Dec 21, 2011
    República Cascadia
    Off Broadway is always a better deal that Broadway. The shows are more daring and the tickets are way cheaper.
  9. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    Dang. Remember when whitey crackers were accused of stealing rap back in 1990? They should have made this play back then, or let Vanilla Ice do it...

    I've heard about Hamilton the American, however. A little overrated, arguably...
  10. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    What. The. F$%#

    You can't be serious?
  11. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Midlife, Midwest
    Well that's true of a lot of things. The blues or jazz musicians you can see for a few dollars and a two-drink minimum at a local club are probably far more interesting than what you'll see at a $300/ticket Billy Joel or Eagles concert. But there's still some value in being able to say you saw a band that provided the soundtrack to your youth.

    Hamilton is interesting on a number of political levels. Its apparently one of the few things that Barack Obama and Dick Cheney agree on. But beyond that, its instructive to be reminded that even amongst the Founding Fathers of our country there were bitter political fights, ugly scandals and name calling; and some very serious differences of opinion. And yet two hundred years on, many (if not all) of those issues are behind us. The success of Hamilton, the musical, is at least partially credited with Hamilton, the historical personage, remaining on our ten dollar bills.

    Hamilton is not unique in creating a cultural sensation out of a political figure from a bygone era. Who'd have thought the wife a tinpot Argentine dictator would have much appeal? But that, I think, had more to do with the lyrical and musical qualities than much admiration for the political achievements of Peronism.

    I think Hamilton will do extremely well in its Chicago and San Diego productions. And the Broadway show will continue to thrive, even without the presence of Lin Manuel Miranda. What is interesting to me is if the producers decide to put the show on in London's West End. IMHO, they might be surprised at how well they might do with London's audience. West End theater tickets don't generally sell for anything like as much as Broadway ones, but its also generally a lot cheaper to stage a show there.

    You'll know for certain that Hamilton mania has passed its peak when it appears (in some form or other) in Las Vegas. But thats a long way off, and we'll be living in a very different world by then.

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