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Reflective Essay on Alexander Hamilton’s Story in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Mucical 'Hamilton' on Broadway

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Cohen indicates that the musical genre is “the most commercially successful genre in the American theatre today.” The first real music that comes to my mind is the contemporary retelling of Alexander Hamilton’s story in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton on Broadway. “Eight years, 11 Tony® Awards, and one Pulitzer Prize later, Hamilton, Miranda’s hit musical, is the hottest ticket on Broadway and a pop culture phenomenon,” according to writer and editor for WNET, Elisa Lichtenbaum.

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I imagine Lin Manuel Miranda began with the inspiration for the plot and character. The life of Alexander Hamilton was sufficient enough for this: “reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton… during a backstage visit afterward, Miranda told the author that as he was reading his book, hip-hop songs started rising off the pages.” It seems music came after and informed the format of the musical. After Lin-Manuel Miranda writes all the music and the lyrics, Alex Lacamoire comes on as the director of music and orchestrator, Lin-Manuel takes the titular role and becomes an actor-writer, and they assemble a cast of a diverse background. These are the people on stage (opening night cast): Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jonathan Groff, Christopher Jackson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom, Jr. However, as Cohen says, “most of the people (who work on the production) are actually backstage, where the audience can’t see them, silently and invisibly making everything run smoothly.” Indeed, the producers are “…securing all necessary personnel, space, and financing; supervising all production and promotional efforts; fielding all legal matters; and distributing all proceeds derived from receipts.” These people include Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, and Jill Furman.

The designers of the production are creating “visual… elements of a production, including the scenery, properties, costumes and wigs, makeup, lighting, sound, programs, advertising, and general ambiance of the location.” These people include David Korins, Scenic Design; Paul Tazewell, Costume Design; Howell Binkley, Lighting Design; Nevin Steinberg, Sound Design; Charles G. LaPointe, Hair, and Wig Design. Those who make the ideas of these designers a reality are the builders, “carpenters, costumers, wig-makers, electricians, makeup artists, recording and sound engineers, painters, and a host of other specially designated craftspeople who construct the “hardware” of a play.” And as the actors act on stage, the crew “…execute, in proper sequence and with carefully rehearsed timing, the light, and sound cues and the shifting of scenery, as well as oversee the placement and return of properties and the assignment, laundering, repair, and changes of costumes.” All of these elements come together over time to bring a musical like Hamilton from an idea spawning from an “832-page” biography to a respected and award-winning American musical.

Sources:

  1. Cohen, Robert. Theatre, Brief Loose Leaf. [Yuzu].
  2. League, The Broadway. “IBDB.com.” IBDB, www.ibdb.com/broadway-production/hamilton-499521.
  3. Lichtenbaum, Elisa. “Hamilton’s America: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Process, the Historical Figure, the Issues.” THIRTEEN, www.thirteen.org/blog-post/hamiltons-america-lin-manuel-mirandas-process-the-historical-figure-the-issues/.

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Reflective Essay on Alexander Hamilton’s Story in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Mucical ‘Hamilton’ on Broadway. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 24, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/reflective-essay-on-alexander-hamiltons-story-in-lin-manuel-mirandas-mucical-hamilton-on-broadway/
“Reflective Essay on Alexander Hamilton’s Story in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Mucical ‘Hamilton’ on Broadway.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/reflective-essay-on-alexander-hamiltons-story-in-lin-manuel-mirandas-mucical-hamilton-on-broadway/
Reflective Essay on Alexander Hamilton’s Story in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Mucical ‘Hamilton’ on Broadway. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/reflective-essay-on-alexander-hamiltons-story-in-lin-manuel-mirandas-mucical-hamilton-on-broadway/> [Accessed 24 May 2023].
Reflective Essay on Alexander Hamilton’s Story in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Mucical ‘Hamilton’ on Broadway [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Mar 01 [cited 2023 May 24]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/reflective-essay-on-alexander-hamiltons-story-in-lin-manuel-mirandas-mucical-hamilton-on-broadway/
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