A Look at Hamilton, the Smash Broadway Musical


Hamilton pic
Image: hamiltonbroadway.com

Professor Joann Baney teaches in the Executive Master of Public Administration program of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. When she’s not working, Joann Baney enjoys attending Broadway shows.

The astonishingly popular Hamilton has taken Broadway by storm since opening on August 6, 2015. The musical was nominated for 16 Tony Awards, the most in history, and won 11, including best musical. It has also won a Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy Award. In addition, the show is expected to make more than $100 million in its first year.

The show was written and produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who first became interested in Alexander Hamilton, the titular character, when he wrote a paper in high school about the founding father and his duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. He later read the Hamilton biography by Ron Chernow and spent several years writing the work, using a hip-hop musical style he felt befitted the narrative.

In addition to writing it, Miranda appeared in the show for the majority of its opening run as Hamilton himself and also hired a diversity of actors, so that the musical features primarily black and Latino talent. While Miranda has stepped down from playing the leading role, the musical is expected to continue running on Broadway.


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