It’s classical and hip hop. Highbrow and street. Perfect for history buffs and those learning about the nation’s founding fathers for the first time ever (I do recommend a quick review of Hamilton’s bio ahead of time, so you catch all of the subtle, fast-flying lines). One thing that stands out in this non-stop flurry of passion and movement is the diversity of the cast in the retelling of an American story dominated by white men.
non-stop flurry of passion and movement
Only in Hamilton will you see an Asian George Washington (Marcus Choi), a Hispanic Alexander Hamilton (Joseph Morales) and a Black Thomas Jefferson (Kyle Scatliffe), and think nothing of it. It all makes sense in a production where the only requirement is perfect timing, perfect pitch and dancing feet that aren’t distracted by a stage that constantly rotates and moves to magically create illusions of space and time.
Hamilton, in many ways, is one big love story. It encapsulates almost every possible expression of love among and between its characters. Looming in the background is the eternal love a son has for his mother, whom he lost at a young age. There is the palpable and tested love between sisters. The intoxicating love of power, both for good and ill, is on full display by the men charged with forming this imperfect union.
I never expect to see a perfect work from an imperfect man.
There is a stifled love between star-crossed lovers, hanging in the air and teasing the audience throughout the second half of the show.
There is the long-suffering love of a wife devoted to a husband devoted to his work. And, there is love of country, which the sons of former slaves and sons of former slaveholders cannot help but feel after witnessing such an intimate and brutally honest portrayal of the life of Hamilton and his contemporaries. But if sappy love stories aren’t your thing, there is plenty of backstabbing, cheating, political rivalry and violence available to balance the storyline out.
Alexander Hamilton is known for saying, “I never expect to see a perfect work from an imperfect man.” The musical phenomenon written to immortalize his legacy flies in the face of this statement. If the production at Bass Concert Hall was not perfect, only the cast and crew were the wiser.
Go see it. You’ll laugh…a lot. You may cry a little. If you’re like me, you’ll catch on to hooks and sing along from time to time. You’ll definitely rejoice at the capacity of the human body and voice, moving in concert with others, to delight all your senses at once.