The story of American founding father and first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B, and show tunes, Hamilton is a revolutionary moment in theater, a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education.
“The music is exhilarating, but the lyrics are a big surprise.” – Variety
“If the musical makes the past more feisty, it also makes the present more weighty.” – SFGate
“The music is phenomenal and game-changing for Broadway, the choreography is stunning.” – Sfist
“Hamilton has near-universal critical acclaim” – The Economist
“The only thing Dick Cheney and I agree on.” – Barack Obama
Arriving in New York in 1776, Hamilton meets Aaron Burr, John Laurens, Marquis de Lafayette, and Hercules Mulligan, and impresses them with his rhetorical skills, and Hamilton states that he is not going to mis his shot at building the new America. The musical sets Hamilton and Burr as opposites and frequently pits them against one another.
General George Washington recognizes that the American troops are at a severe disadvantage against the British, and is frustrated that the rebels keep retreating, but when Hamilton steals the English canons, and shows that he is willing to take risks and break the rules for the sake of America, he gains a powerful ally in the General.
1781, the Battle of Yorktown is a complete success and the British surrender, with King George challenging America with, “what comes next? It’s hard to build a country on your own.” But this is not the end of the American revolution, it is ongoing, even today, and that there are Founders of America being born even as we speak. Both Hamilton and Burr meet their children for the first time after the battle for Yorktown and both have hope that they can build a better country and that their children can do the same. The show is by its nature kinetic, the story of a nation constantly in motion, “just like my country, I’m young, scrappy and hungry” in the musical’s iconic phrase, shown by a cast constantly in motion, in capturing these elements that the superb touring production now at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre shines its very brightest.
Hamilton first premiered Off-Broadway at the Public Theater in New York City, in February 2015, where its several-month engagement was completely sold out. This Off-Broadway production won eight Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical.
Moving to the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway and opening in August 2015, the show received near perfect reviews and high box office sales, receiving a record-breaking 16 nominations, and winning a staggering 11 awards, including Best Musical at the 70th Tony Awards in 2016. The musical was also awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the album of music won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album and is ranked 2nd best album of 2015 by Billboard.
The West End production of Hamilton opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London in December 2017, winning seven Olivier Awards in 2018, including Best New Musical.
A film of the show, captured at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Broadway, was released in July 2020, acclaimed by critics for its visuals, performances, and direction, it became one of the most-streamed films of 2020, and was named as one of the best films of 2020 by the American Film Institute, getting nominated for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy and Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy at the 78th Golden Globe Awards in 2020.
“Reviews of Hamilton tend to be exhaustingly redundant in their gushing, so let’s just get this out of the way: I love this show. The music is phenomenal and game-changing for Broadway, the choreography is stunning, and the book brilliantly and compellingly relays the life story of a man whose crowning achievement was the creation of a national bank and a system for resolving state debt. That latter part, making a truly engaging show out of subject matter that is fairly tedious and dry, is no small feat.”
– Jay Barmann, SFist