Title: Hamilton the Revolution
Author: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy Carter
My Rating: 5 stars
If you love Hamilton in any way shape or form then you will love reading this book and seeing all the wonderful moments of Hamilton, the cast, the story come together. Its the perfect inside look.
Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking musical Hamilton is as revolutionary as its subject, the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims our country’s origins for a diverse new generation.
HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages–“since before this was even a show,” according to Miranda–traces its development from an improbable performance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here.
Their account features photos by the renowned Frank Ockenfels and veteran Broadway photographer, Joan Marcus; exclusive looks at notebooks and emails; interviews with Questlove, Stephen Sondheim, leading political commentators, and more than 50 people involved with the production; and multiple appearances by President Obama himself. The book does more than tell the surprising story of how a Broadway musical became a national phenomenon: It demonstrates that America has always been renewed by the brash upstarts and brilliant outsiders, the men and women who don’t throw away their shot.
Hamilton took the world by storm and I never imagined that I would be as into this musical as I am. There is rarely a week that goes by in which I do not listen to the musical.
I am Australian and have never really had the desire to learn more about American history but Hamilton changed that for me. This book goes through the process that Hamilton went through and while it did, it showed me how much thought and consideration goes into writing an original musical.
Reading the words of Jeremy Carter and Lin-Mauel Miranda made me fall more in love with the story of Hamilton. I loved reading the annotated lyrics. I loved reading the words that Lin had to change because they didn’t quite fit. I loved hearing about the correct choices for casting. I love that Jonathan Groff (King George) was happy to be in three scenes in the whole musical, just to be a part of it.
There are so many things I never considered before while reading the book and isn’t that what books are about? Learning something new? The whole atmosphere of the Black Lives Matter movement and young people wanting something that was relevant just resonated with me. I loved reading the reactions people had to this, about immigrants loving their status. Many a times I teared up just reading how Hamilton has impacted the lives of the people in it but also the people just watching it. This musical has changed me and impacted my life and that is so exacerbated by reading this book.
The chances of me seeing the musical in the next year is so slim since I am in Australia so I am so pleased to see the costumes and the staging. I just love this guide to the musical.
This book is the perfect add on to someone’s love of Hamilton.
Recommended for: People who love Hamilton – the story, the man, the musical. It’s all relevant.
Quotes (Spoiler Free):
“You have no control. Who lives, who dies, who tells your story.”
“I wish writing were really like the way Andy staged it here: Me in a mania at a desk while a group of people stand around cheering in awe. More realistically, it’s me pooping around on Twitter until I get an idea.”
“This was the way into Burr. I knew he and Hamilton circled each other all their lives, I knew they went from friends to frenemies to foes, but it wasn’t til I read this detail online—that Theodosia was married to a British officer when Aaron Burr met her, and he waited until she was available—that the character of Burr came free in my imagination. Imagine Hamilton waiting—for anything. That’s when I realized our task was to dramatize not two ideological opposites, but a fundamental difference in temperament.”
Have you read, seen or listened to Hamilton? What did you think?
xx Maddy xx