I have fallen into the Hamilton craze.
No, I do not have tickets to the insanely popular Broadway show, but I am planning to get tickets to the production in Chicago, which opens in the fall. I think the first 6 months or so are already sold out, but it's staying here (in Chicago) for awhile. For those not following theater news, Hamilton, the new musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, won 11 Tony awards, including best musical. It is noted for casting people of color in the roles of the founding fathers. The website asks you to leave your email and they'll let you know when tickets are available. Tickets (through secondary sellers) are now going for around $1,000. For one ticket.
So in the meantime I bought the CDs. I am a classically trained musician who also loves classic Broadway shows (Oklahoma!) but I wasn't sure how I feel about the Hamilton score, which includes hip-hop, rap, R&B, ballads, boogie-woogie, and show tunes, but I loved the recording! It is amazing in its musical expression, bringing the characters to life.
Also in the meantime, I made a summer goal of reading Alexander Hamilton, the biography by Ron Chernow, that Lin-Manuel Miranda based his musical on. Not counting the index, footnotes, etc., the book is 731 pages long. And though it's sucked me in, it's still not a quick read. I'm on page 192 after several weeks. It's fascinating. I knew almost nothing about Hamilton. On page 192 he is 28 and the year is 1783 and already I am convinced that the United States would not be here today if it were not for Alexander Hamilton. What a brilliant man, across many areas of expertise. Our financial system was devised by him, giving us a stable currency. He saw very early that we needed a strong federal government and a new constitution. He helped stabilize the situation with the army at the end of the war when the officers rightly complained that they should be paid. That problem could have put an end to the new United States in 1783. He makes a great flawed leading man, too.
And yes, he belongs on the ten dollar bill!