The Tiny Goddess and I finally saw HAMILTON at the Pantages Theatre here in LA – and, yes, it’s just as wonderful as everyone says it is: exciting, smart, challenging, and, most importantly, stupendously entertaining. It takes off like a rocket and never comes down.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ambitious, off-the-wall concept (a rap opera about one of our Founding Fathers) fuses contemporary slang and attitudes with a serious history lesson from Colonial times, all presented with old-fashioned Broadway razzle-dazzle. I’m not a big fan of rap but what Lin-Manuel Miranda has done is blend rap and hip-hop with conventional Broadway, R&B, soul, and pop music to create Something New. How rare is that?
On a long car trip, the TG and I listened to the CD—both discs—with the TG following the libretto. (And make no mistake: HAMILTON is an opera. It is almost completely “sung through.”) I am very glad we did “study up.” The words fly by so quicky in HAMILTON -- so many interior rhymes, so many creative anachronisms, so many fast jokes and sly references -- that I suspect that I might have been somewhat lost at times. Instead, I knew exactly what was happening onstage, which increased my enjoyment. Quite a few times during the performance, I told myself, “I’m so glad that I know this already.”
Miranda makes a lot of complex historical detail come alive in a thrilling, very-present way. The frequent anachronisms and modern attitudes only reinforce the parallels that Miranda implies between the chaotic Revolutionary Era and ours. Only the “colonial” costumes are specifically from the age of Hamilton. Everything else is timeless, or rather, in Miranda Time.