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How lucky we are to be alive right now

Hamilton lives up to the hype

Dillon Nagle, Guest Writer, Critical Review

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The show of the century that has left people obsessed across the nation with tickets selling for more than $200 has struck Minneapolis.  Hamilton, a musical that tells the story of the first Treasury Secretary of the US, amazes audiences with high energy, a deceptively simple set and music to die for.

Even though the title character is Alexander Hamilton (Played by Julius Thomas III on the night I saw it), the high energy of the ensemble cast is what really makes the show.  I was sitting in the balcony and I could see their facial expressions. The ensemble brings power to everything, from the vocals to their dancing. The precise storytelling in their choreography and vocals gave me chills.

In an interview about the show, Lin-Manuel Miranda explained that he wrote the score using rap music to be able to fit more words into the musical.  In addition, almost the entire show is sung, which means the pit orchestra plays throughout. Which must be hard on the orchestra members but the blending of instruments, and the music they continually make almost seems unreal.  They definitely “Rise Up” to the challenges of creating music, and do so beautifully.

The set, which is a two story structure made of wood and movable stairs and planks, gives it an old world feeling.  Unlike many Broadway mega hits it doesn’t change much throughout the show. Instead of moving the big backdrops on and off stage they added complexity with a turntable, which is basically a rotating floor.  This was an effect which took the choreography to the next level as well as the set. The turntable was often used to express a lapse in time where time would be moving forward, and if it were to switch directions time seemed to be reversing.  In addition, the use of specials to create dramatic lighting effects created isolated moments of detail. From a lit window to candles, to backlit silhouettes, the lighting also helps tell the story.

Even though so many people are familiar with the soundtrack, seeing the show in person held some surprises.  For me, one of those moments of comic relief, King George III (Played by Jon Patrick Walker) is on stage less than almost any other actor, but literally steals the light with his hilarious song “You’ll be Back.”  Now don’t make George send a fully armed battalion to remind you of his love, and see Hamilton.

So did Hamilton live up to the hype?  The answer is yes. Hamilton, a musical that tells the story of the first Treasury Secretary of the US, amazes audiences with high energy, a deceptively simple set and music to die for.  It’s music and a history lesson all in one, and the outcome is outstanding. I would highly recommend seeing the show. If you can’t buy the tickets then cross your fingers and hope you can win the lottery. Leaving people obsessed across the nation, the show of the century, is Hamilton.

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