Hamilton, the musical theater piece that won 11 Tony Awards in June, celebrated the last performance of its creator Lin-Manuel Miranda on Broadway this Saturday.
The 1,320 seats in the theater were taken. Some of the celebrities attending the play were Secretary of State John Kerry, Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda, among others.
Lin-Manuel was pushed by fellow actor Christopher Jackson to approach the audience and receive its full-on praise, as the show is considered by critics able to withstand the test of time and become a musical theater classic, joining “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Jersey Boys.”
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) July 10, 2016
A landmark in the history of American musical theater
The musical is inspired on Alexander Hamilton, a biography written by Ron Chernow about the founding father responsible for founding the Federalist Party, the U.S. Coast Guard, and The New York Post. Miranda had become interested in Alexander Hamilton’s story in high school, as he wrote a paper telling of his duel with Aaron Burr. Hamilton deemed Burr as unworthy of running for the governance of the state of New York, so he campaigned against Burr. On 1804, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel, in which then received a fatal injury and died the following day.
Back in 2012, Lin-Manuel Miranda stated in an NY Times interview that the musical was a “hip-hop story,” so he included elements of rap rivalries to bring life to the story. It was also highlighted that the cast of Hamilton managed to include a roster comprised heavily of black and Latino actors, bringing an intense parallelism where the audience was able to perceive the differences and similarities between the Americas of the 19th and 21st centuries.
Since Hamilton has an important take on immigration, it is able to bring audiences together and immerse spectators into the cultural implications that the founding fathers were responsible for. One of the most symbolic lines in the play is “Immigrants/We get the job done,” which has often been praised by the audience.
The last show saw several standing ovations.
“When I was writing the book I never imagined that it would be turned into a musical, much less a hip-hop musical, much less this extraordinary hip-hop musical,” Ron Chernow said.
The play saw the loss of its original cast member Jonathan Groff, but the cast is comprised of Tony Award winners Renee Elise Goldsberry, Daveed Diggs, and Tony-nominee Christopher Jackson, which is a proof of the play’s integrity against cast changes.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play won a Grammy, a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. Miranda was also the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” grant.
Hamilton is set to undergo a Chicago production in fall 2016, and a touring production will also hit the road in 2017, starting in San Francisco. London will also be able to see the Hamilton play in the upcoming year.
The play has been highlighted as one of the “biggest critical and commercial hits in Broadway history.” Cast members, including Miranda, brought the play to the White House. Michelle Obama referred to the play as “best piece of art in any form that I have ever seen in my life.”
Source: Associated Press