It’s unlikely that you’re reading this in order to find out if Hamilton is any good or not, but rather how good.
So let’s get this out of the way: Yes, it’s every bit as good as its hype and impossible-to-get tickets suggest.
Lin-Manuel Miranda set out to achieve the unachievable by turning Ron Chernow’s 800-plus page biography of America’s most overlooked founding father, Alexander Hamilton, into a sung-through hip-hop musical with a cast of mostly nonwhite actors. He looked back by looking forward and in turn wrote the first truly landmark musical in two decades (four if you don’t think The Lion King counts), the influence of which will alter the landscape of the American musical for years to come.
Following in the footsteps of game-changing musicals like Showboat, Porgy and Bess, Oklahoma! and Hair, Hamilton embodies all that is indelible about the Great American Musical and presents us not only with the musical of a generation but a theatrical innovation that advances an art form that is notoriously stuck in its ways.
The phrase “hip-hop musical” has a catchy, novel ring to it, but Miranda’s accomplished much more; his astounding score is relentlessly intelligent and draws on musical influences from Rodgers and Hammerstein to the Notorious B.I.G., Grandmaster Flash, and Gilbert and Sullivan. The complexity of his score—and his lyrical prowess—make him Broadway’s best wordsmith since Stephen Sondheim.
And in this top-shelf national tour—which is ours for the next two months—Miranda’s achievement brims with kinetic urgency and intoxicating swag thanks to Thomas Kail’s staging and Andy Blankenbuehler’s choreography, which are as indispensable to the show’s innovation as the show itself.
Tickets are scarce and the ones that remain are expensive, but all is not lost: Hamilton gives away 40 $10 tickets to every performance via a lottery on the official Hamilton app. This is a revolution you won’t want to sit out.
HAMILTON. THROUGH 11.18 AT BOSTON OPERA HOUSE, 539 WASHINGTON ST., BOSTON. BOSTON.BROADWAY.COM