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Summary Edit

Musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton

BackgroundEdit

Production and lyrics of the musical began when Lin-Manuel Miranda discovered the biography Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow, in an airport while on vacation from his other Broadway hit In The Heights (off-Broadway 2005-2007). While reading it on vacation in Mexico, Miranda began developing early ideas of a musical revolving Hamilton and his life. He began writing these ideas down, frequently shouting out ideas to his wife, Vanessa Nadal, as they came to mind. After researching, he found that a play by the life of Alexander Hamilton did exist, though it dated back to 1917. The first idea of Hamilton was brought up while Lin was at the bar with Jeremy McCarter. McCarter says "...Lin-Manuel Miranda told me he wanted to write a hip-hop concept album about the life of Alexander Hamilton. For a second I thought we sharing a drunken joke. We were probably drunk, but he wasn't joking." [1]

Adapted from the biography, Miranda began to draft lyrics and music in his spare time from In The Heights, and created the production The Hamilton Mixtape, brought to life by the Vassar Workshop (with Alex Lacamoire on the piano). The workshop earned a showcase at New York Stage and Film and gained very positive reviews from famous Broadway personalities. Miranda was later invited to the White House's Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word, and, though he was set to perform music from In The Heights, he instead performed the opening number from The Hamilton Mixtape, the to-be version of the first song from the musical titled Alexander Hamilton.

Lincoln Center Performance Edit

A few years after the idea came about, after a few of the songs had been written, Lincoln Center asked him to put on an American Songbook Concert. Tommy Kail suggested they get a band and orchestrate some of the songs to perform at Lincoln Center.

"Lin opened the program with a set of songs he called 'the DNA of my brain.' These were [some of the] hits from some of his favorite rappers:.....Then he and his friends performed all of the Hamilton songs that [Lin] had produced so far." (Hamilton: The Revolution, Page 46, Paragraph 3)

With increasingly positive comments on the snippet of The Hamilton Mixtape Miranda performed at the White House, he then performed the workshop production of it at the Vassar Reading Festival, which was directed by Thomas Kail, with Alex Lacamoire on the music. From there it reached its Off-Broadway production in The Public Theater, with an entirely different company (excluding Daveed Diggs as Thomas Jefferson/Marquis de Lafayette and Christopher Jackson as George Washington) and after its debut would perform live on Broadway.[2]

Its schedule to perform is currently:

  • July 9-September 1, 2018: Tuesday @7pm, Wednesday @2pm and 8pm, Thursday @7pm, Friday @8pm, Saturday @2pm and 8pm, and Sunday @3pm.

Songs in Cast RecordingEdit

Act I Act II
1. Alexander Hamilton 24. What'd I Miss
2. Aaron Burr, Sir 25. Cabinet Battle #1
3. My Shot 26. Take A Break
4. The Story of Tonight 27. Say No To This
5. The Schuyler Sisters 28. The Room Where It Happens
6. Farmer Refuted 29. Schuyler Defeated
7. You'll Be Back 30. Cabinet Battle #2
8. Right Hand Man 31. Washington On Your Side
9. A Winter's Ball 32. One Last Time
10. Helpless 33. I Know Him
11. Satisfied 34. The Adams Administrations
12. The Story of Tonight (Reprise) 35. We Know
13. Wait For It 36. Hurricane
14. Stay Alive 37. The Reynolds Pamphlet
15. Ten Duel Commandments 38. Burn
16. Meet Me Inside 39. Blow Us All Away
17. That Would Be Enough 40. Stay Alive (Reprise)
18. Guns And Ships 41. It's Quiet Uptown
19. History Has Its Eyes On You 42. The Election of 1800
20. Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down) 43. Your Obedient Servant
21. What Comes Next? 44. Best of Wives and Best of Women
22. Dear Theodosia 45. The World Was Wide Enough
23. Non-Stop 46. Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story

Plot summaryEdit

Act OneEdit

Grammy end

The musical begins by introducing the main protagonist Alexander Hamilton and sets his background as coming from a poor family, his father having left and his mother dying when he was 12 years of age. By use of his intelligence and "top-notch brain", Alexander travels to New York, in the developing nation of America, in hopes for a better life ("Alexander Hamilton"). Upon arrival in the summer of 1776, he immediately seeks out the young upstart Aaron Burr for advice, who in turn tells him to "talk less, smile more" ("Aaron Burr, Sir"). Alexander instead joins up with three revolutionaries: John Laurens, Marquis de Lafayette, and Hercules Mulligan, and gains their friendship and trust in the Revolution by impressing them with his knowledge and skill ("My Shot"), and the four sing about earning their country by staking their lives for the cause (The Story of Tonight"). As news of the Revolution spreads and grows in excitement, the Schuyler sisters Angelica, Elizabeth, and Peggy Schuyler sing about their hopes and prospects of the Revolution.("The Schuyler Sisters")

The opposing Loyalist Samuel Seabury arrives and proclaims against the Revolution, while Hamilton defends the movement by opposing the Loyalist's actions ("Farmer Refuted"). A message then arrives from the king of England, King George III, explaining that the king will fight for the colonist's loyalty back ("You'll Be Back"). Despite this, Hamilton and his newfound allies go further to join the Continental Army, in which Hamilton is given and accepts a position as George Washington's right-hand man ("Right Hand Man").

Helpless

In the winter ball hosted by Philip Schuyler in 1780, the men are in attendance, and they set their sights on the three Schuyler sisters ("A Winter's Ball"). Elizabeth Schuyler, the middle Schuyler sister, immediately fancies Alexander, and after they are introduced by her sister Angelica Schuyler, they are married by the blessing of Eliza's father ("Helpless"). Angelica, however, still has feelings for Alexander, but keeps them aside for the sake of her sister ("Satisfied"). Aaron Burr then meets up with Hamilton, Marquis de Lafayette, John Laurens, and Hercules Mulligan, and privately admits to Hamilton that he is having an affair with the wife of a British officer. Hamilton tells him to go for her ("The Story of Tonight (Reprise)"). However, Burr explains that he will wait for what life has in store for him, like how he has waited for everything else in his past ("Wait For It").

As the Revolution is underway, Hamilton continually asks Washington for a promotion and for a command, to which Washington denies. George Washington instead promotes Charles Lee, which leads up to an incredibly distrastous battle, in which Lee is demoted to Marquis de Lafayette. Lee then proceeds to ridiculing Washington in public, which prompts Hamilton into taking action, which Washington forbids as it is increasingly likely to lead to a duel. Instead, Hamilton's close friend and Washington's aide-de-camp, John Laurens, offers to duel Lee for him so he will not go against Washington ("Stay Alive"). Laurens wins the duel against Lee ("Ten Duel Commandments") but Washington comes to know about the duel and is outraged at Hamilton, consequentially sending him home to be with his wife Eliza ("Meet Me Inside"). Eliza tells Alexander that she is pregnant with his child, and although at first Hamilton is unsure of himself, Eliza assures him that he is everything to her and begs him to stay home ("That Would Be Enough").

Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)

As Marquis de Lafayette takes an increasingly powerful role in the development of the Revolution, he convinces France to aid the Continental Army, in which event shifts the balance to the Americans. However, he and Washington know that to win the battle they will need the help of Hamilton, and so Washington reluctantly calls Hamilton back to the army and gives him the command he has requested for so long ("Guns And Ships"). The night before the battle, Washington calls Hamilton aside and explains to him that no matter how big an impact someone has on the course of history, they cannot control how they are remembered in someone else's eyes ("History Has Its Eyes On You"). The Continental Army wins the battle after a British soldier surrenders to them[3] ("Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)"). After their victory, King George III questions the colonists how they will set up government and tend their own nation and rule on their own without losing the people's trust ("What Comes Next?").

After the success in the Revolution, Hamilton returns home to his son Philip Hamilton, while Burr's daughter Theodosia is born; the two sing of their hopes and fears for the future ("Dear Theodosia"). After learning the shocking news of the death of John Laurens, Hamilton and Burr together travel to New York to complete their studies and return as lawyers. Due to his success, Hamilton is enlisted to a delegate of the Constitutional Convention in 1787[4]. Hamilton privately requests Burr to write The Federalist Papers in defense of the new U.S. Constitution; however, after Burr's unmoving denial, Hamilton turned to James Madison and John Jay to write the papers. After Washington is elected in the Election of 1788, he gives Hamilton the opportunity to be the Secretary of the Treasury, and although Eliza pleads him not to accept the offer, Hamilton realizes how big of an opportunity it was and agrees ("Non-Stop").

Act TwoEdit

What'd I Miss

Taking place in 1789, Thomas Jefferson returns home in America from his time off in France, at which point James Madison refers to Jefferson in an attempt to stop Hamilton's financial plan, which in his belief would grant the government excessive power over the people ("What'd I Miss"). Jefferson hears his request and debates with Hamilton over his plan in a heated manner; George Washington privately tells Hamilton that he must find a way to convince Congress of his plan in favor of both parties ("Cabinet Battle #1").

Hamilton returns home to work, at which time Eliza remind him that his son has turned nine years old. At dinner, his son Philip Hamilton performs a rap he composed, which impresses his father and convinces him of his son's literary skill. Angelica tells Hamilton that his best chances would be in convincing Jefferson, his main political enemy, that his financial plan had benefits so that Congress would accept as well[5]. She and Eliza then try to persuade Hamilton to accompany them on a trip upstate to their father's house; however, Hamilton declines, saying he was caught up in work for his plan for Congress ("Take A Break").

While not in the company of family, Hamilton is approached by Maria Reynolds, who tells him her husband James Reynolds is mistreating her and is unfaithful. Hamilton decides to aid Maria, and eventually began an affair. The scandal slips to her husband, who in turn confronts Hamilton and says he will keep the affair a secret if Hamilton agrees to pay him a sum. Hamilton, though scared for his political reputation, accepts the blackmail and continues the affair ("Say No To This").

Burr thriller

Hamilton goes to Jefferson and Madison and they discuss his financial plan. He, Madison, and Jefferson come to a compromise: the plan would be put to action if the nation's capital were to be moved from New York to a site closer to Jefferson's home in Virginia, Washington, D.C.[6] Meanwhile, Aaron Burr is envious of the amount of power Hamilton holds over the government and its decisions, wishing he could be of that position ("The Room Where It Happens"). He switches his political party and overthrows Hamilton's father-in-law, Philip Schuyler's seat in the Senate, and is granted more political power as a result. Because he is now against the Schuylers, Burr creates a divide between him and Hamilton ("Schuyler Defeated").

In the second cabinet battle, Jefferson and Hamilton dispute over whether the United States should aid the France in the French Revolution (War of the First Coalition)[7]. Washington sides with Hamilton, deciding to stay neutral ("Cabinet Battle #2"). After the argument, Burr, Madison, and Jefferson recollect on how image-worthy it must feel to have Washington on his side always and discuss a plan to ruin Hamilton's political reputation ("Washington On Your Side").

One Last Time

Washington talks with Hamilton and privately announces that he is stepping down from the government. Hamilton retorts that Washington would never be defeated in the campaign for the presidency; Washington replies that he has stepped down from running for president as well. Hamilton is shocked but is convinced by him that it is in the best interests of the nation. The men write a farewell address ("One Last Time"). King George III, in turn, is jubilant upon receiving news that Washington has stepped down, certain that the rebel nation would fall apart under the leadership of John Adams ("I Know Him").

The Federalist Party is brought down by a dispute between Hamilton and John Adams ("The Adams Administration"). Madison, Jefferson, and Burr think they have found a scandal capable of ruining Hamilton's image and charge him with committing treason and pilfering money from the government; however, in truth, they had discovered the transactions of Hamilton's payments catering James Reynolds' blackmail in order to keep his affair with Maria Reynolds secret. Hamilton, knowing the lie spun to dismantle his career was worse than the truth, begs the men not to publicize the scandal and informs them of his affair ("We Know"). Hamilton remembers that being truthful has saved him many times in the past and decides that it is the only way out of his situation ("Hurricane").

Burn

Hamilton then publishes his affair to the public in his creation of the Reynolds Pamphlet ("The Reynolds Pamphlet"). When Eliza comes to know of the affair through the publication, she mournfully vows to never look back on everything they had, and "erases herself from the narrative", claiming that in the course of history no one would know her reaction to Hamilton's actions ("Burn").

Years pass after the course events, and their son Philip turns nineteen and graduates from Kings College. He hears about George Eacker publicly degrading Hamilton's reputation and immediately challenges him to a duel. He then asks his father for guidance. Hamilton lends him his pistols and tells him to be safe. Philip counts to ten as his mother taught him, but Eacker shoots him at the count of seven ("Blow Us All Away"). Philip is taken to the doctor, and passes away, Hamilton and Eliza by his deathbed ("Stay Alive (Reprise)"). After Philip's death, the Hamiltons move uptown, where it is calmer and more serene, and Hamilton requests Eliza's forgiveness for everything he has done, to which Eliza accepts ("It's Quiet Uptown").

It is 1800, and president John Adams is defeated in the campaign, after which Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr are matched in a tie. The public then asks for whom Hamilton supports, as he has the public's trust and will unbalance the tie.[8] Hamilton replies that though he has never supported Jefferson once, he would now because Burr had switched his loyalties again for person reputation ("The Election of 1800"). After Jefferson's election, Burr is outraged and commences Hamilton to a duel for what he has done ("Your Obedient Servant"). On the morning of the duel, before Hamilton's departure, Eliza calls him back to bed. Hamilton replies gently that he has to leave, and calls her lovingly the "best of wives and best of women" ("Best of Wives and Best of Women").

Hamilton travels to Weehawken, New Jersey with trusted seconds[9], close to where his son Philip died in his duel with George Eaker. Hamilton willingly "throws away his shot" [1], but Burr thinks this is unwilling and shoots him, fatally wounding him. He later realizes that even though in terms of the duel he won, he would only be remembered through the course of history as the villain who killed Alexander Hamilton ("The World Was Wide Enough").

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story

The company then proceeds to end the musical, and Eliza sings about "putting herself back in the narrative" and continuing to remember Alexander's legacy, and tells the story of the soldiers who fought by his side. Eliza collects funds for the Washington Monument and raises awareness against slavery. After Alexander's time, Eliza founds the first private orphanage in New York City and helps with the raising of hundreds of children. As she passes, she is shown that her legacy will be protected and passed on as she did for the legacy of Alexander Hamilton ("Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story").

GalleryEdit

Click here

ReferencesEdit

  1. Hamilton: The Revolution, Page 10, Paragraph 1
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilton_(musical)
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Yorktown
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_Convention_%28United_States%29
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Report_on_the_Public_Credit
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Residence_Act
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_First_Coalition
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1800
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burr%E2%80%93Hamilton_duel