Dear Crabby, What’s All the Hype About ‘Hamilton?’

Dear Crabby,

Lately, my newsfeed has been filled with people geeking out over Hamilton the musical. Since all the theatres are closed, I can’t figure out what all the fuss is about. Do you have any clue?

Thanks,
K. George Will

Dear K. George Will,

I know we’ve all been sheltering at home these past few months, but it sounds like you’ve also been sheltering under a rock. First, a little background for those of you who slept through American history. Good old Alexander Hamilton is more than just a pretty face on the ten-dollar bill. Yep. Among his many accomplishments, he’s mostly known for being the United States’ first Secretary of the Treasury and for getting himself killed by Aaron Burr in a duel. Now back in 2004, author Ron Chernow innocently published a book aptly titled Alexander Hamilton. As the kids say – ”NBD” (no big deal), this Chernow fella had written other books and articles for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. I imagine Chernow went on with his life and didn’t give it much thought. Fast forward four years when a scrappy jack-of-all-trades fella by the name of Lin-Manuel Miranda reads Alexander Hamilton while on vacation and decides to write a rap about it. It seems perfectly normal, right? Over the next six years or so (Hey. You can’t rush genius. I know this from experience.) Miranda kept tweaking and adding material to his little rap until he had a full-blown musical. Once Hamilton: An American Musical hit Broadway… well, shoot. You practically had to sell your first-born child just to get a seat in ‘the room where it happens.’ It went on to win 11 of the 16 Tony Awards it was nominated for and people have been obsessed ever since. So, now to answer your question about why people are losing their minds about Hamilton right now in the middle of a pandemic when all the theatres are closed.

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

You see there is this thing called ‘proshot’ and they are videos of musicals and such that have been professionally (not bootlegged) shot to share on TV or in cinemas and such. Guess what? One of these proshot videos of the Hamilton musical exists. And since we’re all so starved for entertainment, that Miranda fella sold it to the folks over at Disney and they’re going to show it on their streaming service Disney Plus starting July 3. After that announcement is probably when you started noticing an uptick in the media and on the socials about Hamilton. It’s a great idea for those who can’t shell out the bucks to see it and for those who just can’t watch it enough. Oh. And in case you’re wondering, this proshot features the OBC. That stands for ‘Original Broadway Cast,’ which is another reason why people are losing their minds. Now, there are a few things you should know if you plan to watch.

First, Miranda has always been upfront with some of the liberties he’s taken with Hamilton’s story and the stories of the other characters in the play. If you’re someone who can’t get behind his creative license or the fact that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are portrayed by black actors, then you might want to sit this one out and watch a nice documentary over on the History channel. Secondly, there is language, but before you start clutching your pearls or reaching to cover your children’s ears, it’s nothing they probably haven’t heard already. Plus, in order for it to receive a PG-13 rating, Miranda allowed some of the cuss words to be muted. Honestly, with all the singing and such, you probably won’t even notice. Finally, and this is pretty important, you’ll have to pay to watch. Normally Disney Plus offers a free seven-day trial, but the Mouse isn’t dumb. Disney knows there is a huge demand to see this, so earlier this week, they temporarily took their free trial off the table. So, in order to watch, you’ll either need to pay the $6.99 for one month or $69.99 for a year. Either way, it’s cheaper than going to the movies or the theatre, so it might be worth giving it a whirl.

As for me, I’ll probably just be sitting in my favorite La-Z-Boy watching a western. To each their own, eh?

Dear Crabby

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at DearCrabby@rochestermedia.com.

Comments

  1. Love the picture of you at the computer.

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