Hamilton Opens In Chicago


Veronica Wernicke

Why was Hamilton so talked about? That is a question I was asking when I first heard about Hamilton. Recently, it opened in Chicago and there has been such a rush to get tickets it has also been all over the local news.

Hamilton: An American Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter is about the first treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton. This show is a unique spin on this old American story using a biracial cast and hip-hop music.

“Hamilton was certainly persistent,” Little said,“ He stuck to his own guns, he was really persuaded by people to try to do other things and he was pretty independent.”

Miranda started in the theater business in his 20s with another broadway hip-hop musical called In The Heights, which is this year’s musical at Libertyville, by the way. After the play was off Broadway, he went on vacation and stumbled upon a copy of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow and after reading part of the book, Miranda thought that Alexander Hamilton embodied hip-hop. After fully reading the book Miranda wrote the first song and performed it at the White House in 2008.

At first, this was just going to be a mixtape about Hamilton. But when Lin brought McCarther to the team McCarther said that it should be a musical.

After many performances it became one of the most popular off-broadway musicals so they put it on Broadway at the Richard Rogers Theater, and it was sold out for months. The show was nominated for 16 tony’s and ended up winning 12 of them.     

About a year ago Hamilton was announced to open in Chicago because that is where Miranda, who grew up in Detroit, went to see Broadway in Chicago, so he wanted it to be in Chicago first before anywhere else.

A couple of our students and teachers have gotten the opportunity of seeing this musical: Caylee Brand (9), Mackenzie Ferlet (9), and Choir teacher Mr. Jeremy Little.

“I saw the one in New York too,” said Ferlet,“and I thought [Chicago’s Hamilton] did a very good job and I felt like they were very similar in amazingness.”

Ferlet said “[I wanted to see the musical] because I listened to the music and the music is really good and inspiring, and Miranda is very brilliant, and the dancing is amazing.”

“If they [students and teachers] can get a ticket, It’s also cool because it is American history.” said Little.

This show features many songs that show Hamilton’s decisions, one song is called “Non-stop.” This song ends the act by featuring a bunch of reprises.

The songs in the show are well thought out because, each character has their own rapping or singing style. For example, in all of King George’s songs they are sung in the same rhythm as the Beatles. Here Miranda is trying to show how the music of the Colonies is developing but King George is not. Also during the show a lot of character devop, like Lafayette at the beginning of the show is singing in a slow rap because he doesn’t speak or understand English well, but towards the end of the first act he starts rapping faster because he is more adapted to the American culture. King George still does not change his style of singing because he does not change his extremist views.    

“[My favorite song is] probably Non-Stop,” Brand says “because it combines all of the songs to end the act”

Currently it is announced to open in London; San Francisco Ca ; Los Angeles, Ca; Washington, Dc; Atlanta, Ga; Boston, Ma; Charlotte, Nc; Cleveland, Oh; Costa Mesa, Ca; Denver, Co; Des Moines, Ia; Houston, Tx; Las Vegas, Nv; Portland, Or; Salt Lake City, Ut; San Diego, Ca; Seattle, Wa; Tempe, Az.

“Not only does it teach history,” Brand says “but it just sends a message.”