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10 Reasons Why Now Is the Perfect Time to See ‘Hamilton’

Category Broadway

|by Mikey Miller |

What are you waiting for?

Even though Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning Hamilton has been playing the Great White Way in the Richard Rodgers Theatre for almost five years, the hype has, by no means, died down. From Miranda turning the story of one of America’s Founding Fathers into a musical revolutionarily employing contemporary genres to the fact that there are two national tours currently traveling around the nation, absolutely nobody can deny that Hamilton is still an incomparable worldwide phenomenon, one that might ultimately surpass the lengthy Broadway runs of megahit musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and Chicago. If you missed the Hamilton craze when it first premiered (or even if you didn’t), we’ve gathered the top 10 reasons to make your way over to the Rodgers to catch Hamilton now.

The cast of ‘Hamilton’ on Broadway (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

The cast of ‘Hamilton’ on Broadway (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

It’s the most-nominated production in Tony Awards history.
As you’re definitely aware, Hamilton was wildly successful in terms of garnering critical acclaim and recognition. The Broadway production won 11 of the 16 awards for which it was nominated, and it holds the record for earning the most Tony Award nominations. Additionally, Hamilton won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and is only one of nine musicals ever to earn that prestigious honor.

Catch Award-winning talent…
One of the great things about a lengthy Broadway run is that even though the show stays the same, the talent inevitably has to rotate – no person can stay in a role forever! Company members work incredibly hard to maintain the integrity of a show as the original opening-night audience saw it, but with new actors in the mix, their specific takes on their characters will, of course, be captivating and meaningful in a different way from those who preceded them. And currently, you can catch some really spectacular talents in the Broadway production of Hamilton. In the role of Angelica Schuyler is Mandy Gonzalez, a Drama Desk and Obie Award-winning actress who originated the role of Nina in Miranda’s In the Heights and starred as Elphaba in Wicked. And she is joined by James Monroe Iglehart, who won the Tony for originating the role of the Genie in Aladdin.

…While also seeing tomorrow’s big stars today.
In the realm of stellar talent, not only can you go to see some already bonafide Broadway superstars, but Hamilton is just a breeding ground for up-and-coming actors who are quickly making waves in the realms of television, film, and musical theatre. Anthony Ramos, who originated the roles of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton, is starring as Usnavi in the In the Heights movie, set to be released this summer (check out more information on this below). And Solea Pfeiffer, who played the role of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton in one of the national tours, has solidified her place as one of musical theater’s next big talents after her star turns as the title role in New York City Center’s production of Evita and as Penny Lane in the Broadway-bound Almost Famous. Who knows? Maybe one day, you’ll be able to say, “I saw them when!”

Prepare yourself for the In the Heights film this summer.
Before there was Hamilton, there was In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Broadway musical and the one that enabled him, in 2008, to earn his first two Tony Awards – for Best Musical and for Best Original Score (he is the youngest person to have received the latter). In the Heights is a story that takes place over the course of three days in a small pocket of Washington Heights and explores defining moments in the lives and relationships of those who live on and traverse the same block. The film adaptation of In the Heights is set to be released on June 26, so why not get yourself ready to experience this first Miranda musical in a new way by going to see his most recent musical sensation? (And Miranda himself, who originated the lead role of Usnavi in In the Heights, even makes an appearance as the Piragua Guy in the In the Heights movie!)

This season’s Freestyle Love Supreme is Hamilton’s older sibling.
There is no dearth of Lin-Manuel Miranda material inundating American pop culture right now. Not only is the In the Heights movie set to debut this summer, but Miranda has another show currently on Broadway – Freestyle Love Supreme. Freestyle Love Supreme, playing at the Booth Theatre, is a phenomenon that features a group of freestyle rap and hip-hop improvisers who bring each show’s audience on a unique 90-minute journey. Created by Miranda and longtime collaborators Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale, Freestyle Love Supreme features a superbly talented cast of hip-hop improv artists, and you are sure to laugh your pants off at the wild and crazy stuff they can create and summon on the spot. Most shows feature a fun surprise guest, some of which have been Hamilton’s Christopher Jackson and Daveed Diggs, or even Miranda himself. Why not enjoy these two hip-hop Miranda musicals together? But act fast – Freestyle Love Supreme closes this Sunday, Jan. 12.

It’s especially relevant in an election year.
It’s 2020, and we all know what that means: Presidential election season has already started to roll around. As we know, art imitates life, and that means theater is just rife with shows about American politics. Just like the classic 1776 to the controversial Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson to last season’s Hillary and Clinton, Hamilton doesn’t shy away from important political themes and dilemmas that were surfacing during the time of our nation’s founding almost 244 years ago. Add some sharp banter about public policy to the mix – in the form of rap – and see Hamilton to remind yourself that it is not only important but that it is your civic duty to be a politically engaged citizen of the United States.

There has never been more info on the production to peruse, pre- or post-show.
Since Hamilton has become this worldwide phenomenon, it has extended far beyond its life as just a piece of musical theater. Since its premiere on Broadway, Hamilton has released a cast album, a book with all the lyrics in the show accompanied by annotations and stories of the musical’s development (titled Hamilton: A Revolution, written by Miranda and Jeremy McCarter), and countless newspaper and magazine articles and YouTube videos. None of these properties were available to the public when the show first premiered, and since its fast pace and wordy rap numbers keep the audience listening on the edges of their seats the entire time, you can preview this material before seeing the show or peruse it afterward so that you develop a deeper appreciation for the work.

Great seats are available through April.
Want to be in “the room where it happens,” but you don’t want to brave the wintry madness that is New York City in January and February in order to do so? Don’t worry – we’ve got some excellent seats all the way through the spring at prices that won’t break the bank. Check them out here.

Five years on, Hamilton’s score is still the most current on Broadway.
Musical theater has absolutely been transformed for the twenty-first century; pop and rock musicals are now all the rage. While Hadestown earned a Grammy before it even premiered on the Great White Way, and Beetlejuice features an eclectic mix of modern genres in its score that is bringing in consistently record-breaking audience turnouts, few Broadway hits have become the cultural zeitgeist that Hamilton has in the past half-decade. Through its pop, rap, soul, hip-hop and R&B inspirations, the Hamilton score covers the breadth of the musical spectrum of hits that currently dominate the Billboard charts in ways no other musical ever has (and probably will not, for a long time).

See it for yourself.
You’ve heard all the hype about how absolutely amazing Hamilton is, but you’re an individual of uniquely discerning taste. Isn’t it about time you see it for yourself?  

For more of the best of Broadway and beyond, check out our full list of New York shows.

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