Hamilton’s America

7 Ways ‘Hamilton’ has Impacted America

President Barack Obama participates in an interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda for the PBS documentary "Hamilton's America" in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 14, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy) This photograph is provided by THE WHITE HOUSE as a courtesy and may be printed by the subject(s) in the photograph for personal use only. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not otherwise be reproduced, disseminated or broadcast, without the written permission of the White House Photo Office. This photograph may not be used in any commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

President Barack Obama and Lin-Manuel Miranda in the West Wing of the White House, March 2016, in a scene from Hamilton’s America (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Hamilton: An American Musical is beloved by critics, musical theater buffs, and newcomers to the theater scene alike. The historical production has found its own place in history, all while turning several musical theater conventions upside-down.

Here’s how various media outlets tell the story of how Hamilton has revolutionized musical theater and impacted society:

 

The album shattered sales records.

 

It’s not just New York’s theater patrons who have embraced the show. The “Hamilton” cast album had the highest debut for any Broadway cast album since 1963, hitting No. 12 and selling more than 50,000 copies its first week. It’s still on the charts more than four months later. Selling CDs is fine, but the coin of the realm these days is downloads and streams. “Hamilton” is no slacker there, either: Its songs were streamed 16 million times that first week, and the album — which is more than two hours long — was still in iTunes’ top 25 as of February 10.

 

The musical’s broad appeal is unprecedented.

 

 

Miranda’s mission to curtail internet bot ticket scalping is already making change across the U.S.

 

I want the thousands of tickets for shows, concerts and sporting events that are now purchased by bots and resold at higher prices to go into the general market so that you have a chance to get them. I want theatergoers to be able to purchase tickets at face value at our box office and our website, rather than on a resale platform. And if you do go to a resale platform for tickets, I want the markup you must pay to be clearly displayed. Most of all, I want you to be there when the curtain goes up. You shouldn’t have to fight robots just to see something you love.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s New York Times Op-Ed – Stop the Bots from Killing Broadway

 

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced their collaboration to promote the BOTS Act (Better On-line Ticket Sales Act of 2016) yesterday [August 14, 2016], in a joint press conference. The bill, which mirrors one introduced in February of last year by House Republicans, proposes a new federal law that would fine ticket resellers who use bots to bypass online security measures.

The Verge – Lin-Manuel Miranda is now fighting ticket bots across the US 

 

Hamilton was nominated for more Tony Awards than any musical in history.

 

The 16 Tony nominations for “Hamilton” broke the record shared by “The Producers” (2001) and “Billy Elliot” (2009), each nominated for 15 prizes. With 12 Tonys, “The Producers” is the winningest show of all time.

The New York Times – Hamilton Makes History with 16 Tony Nominations

 

Rap and hip-hop were critical to the musical’s storytelling.

 

“Hamilton” has the potential to be a Broadway game changer thanks to its seamless integration of rap and storytelling. Hip-hop aficionados have taken note. Ahmir Thompson, who is also known as Questlove and is a founding member of the hip-hop band the Roots, recently said: “Watching the show I realized: ‘O.K., Lin-Manuel knows hip-hop. This guy has totally done his homework.’”

The New York Times – Why Hamilton Has Heat

 

The cast reflects America’s diversity today.

 

The most obvious difference between “Hamilton” and a history textbook is that nobody in the play looks how they actually looked in real life.

Miranda, a Puerto Rican from New York, plays Alexander Hamilton, the rags-to-riches protagonist who moved to the US from the Caribbean at just 17 years old. The rest of the cast is made up of black, Hispanic, and Asian-American performers, a choice Miranda has repeatedly said was deliberate.

“Our cast looks like America looks now, and that’s certainly intentional,” Miranda told the New York Times last year. “It’s a way of pulling you into the story and allowing you to leave whatever cultural baggage you have about the founding fathers at the door.”

Tech Insider – ‘Hamilton’ is the most important musical of our time

 

Its popularity influenced the U.S. Treasury’s decision to keep Hamilton on the $10 bill.

 

— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) March 16, 2016

The Secretary thanked Miranda for the ingenious way in which he has been able to tell Hamilton’s story and ignite a renewed interest in one of our nation’s founding fathers.

“America’s currency is a way for our nation to make a statement about who we are and what we stand for,” Lew reportedly said. “Our paper bills—and the images of great American leaders and symbols they depict—have long been a way for us to honor our past and express our values.”

Playbill.com – It’s Official: Alexander Hamilton Will Stay on $10 Bill