Here’s Everything You Need To Know About the Hit Broadway Musical ‘Hamilton’

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The 70th Annual Tony Awards are June 12th, and with a record breaking 16 nominations, Hamilton is on everyone’s minds. 

The show premiered August 6, 2015, and since then it’s become huge. In just one short year, the musical has won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater album, eight Drama Desk Awards and a Pulitzer Peace Prize for Drama. From what it sounds like, the musical is on its way to not only a Tony nomination, but the big win for “Best Musical” as well.

So, what is it that makes Hamilton so groundbreaking?

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and writer of the book, lyrics and music, and star of Hamilton thought of the idea while vacationing from In the Heights (his first smash-hit hip-hop musical). The story goes that while in the airport, he was bored and picked up the book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.

Miranda instantly began brainstorming ideas and wondering why history books brushed over the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Father of the United States. He began writing in 2009.

Fast-forward to 2013, four years later, and Miranda was work-shopping (or performing a play without costumes, set, etc.) at the Vassar Reading Festival.

Finally, in February 2015 the show made its way to Off-Broadway. After selling out the Off-Broadway engagement at the Public Theater, the show rapidly moved on to Broadway in July 2015 for previews.

The show centers around the life of Alexander Hamilton (hence the title). It begins with an opening number explaining how Alexander beat the odds to make it to America because of his poor upbringing in St. Croix. The rest of the show tells about Hamilton’s will and pride which brought him his ultimate successes, but his downfalls as well.

The first act focuses on his role in helping America gain independence through the Revolutionary War, and how he acted as George Washington’s “right hand man.” The second act has more of a focus on Hamilton’s family life and his personal relationships.

The show has made waves because nothing like this has ever been seen before. A hip-hop musical with rapping about the Founding Fathers and the Revolutionary War. It isn’t supposed to work, but it just does. History, the subject that everyone seems to dread, isn’t “supposed” to be this interesting, but Miranda and the cast make the life of this overlooked Founding Father come to life.

The lyrics are catchy, the cast is charismatic and the writing is just straight up genius. Hamilton is definitely on its way to a win, and based on crowd reaction and high demand, it already has.

This show is definitely one for the history books.

To learn more about the original cast of Hamilton and the characters they play, check out this gallery!