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They say, “history has its eyes on you” and that couldn’t be closer to the truth. History has certainly been keeping its eyes on us and 2020 will surely be one that reigns prominent in the minds of everyone for years to come. In the midst of everything 2020 has thrown at the world, the release of Hamilton onto Disney+ is one of the positives.
Hamilton splashed onto the Broadway scene in 2016 and ever since, people have entered lotteries and paid through the nose for those coveted seats to the American musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Now, four years later it is available to any user of Disney+ to watch and enjoy over and over again.
If you’re like me, the only thing you really knew about Hamilton before 2016 was that he’s on the ten-dollar bill and he lost in a duel to Aaron Burr. Now, through the musical stylings of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Philipa Soo, Leslie Odom Jr., Johnathan Groff, Daveed Diggs and others, we know there is far more to the story.
This musical, describing and detailing the events of the American Revolution, the election of 1800, the founding of a financial system and Hamilton’s life with Eliza Schuyler, has certainly refreshed everything we learned about our ten-dollar founding father. However, it is possible that it hit viewing for a more general public at the perfect time in our history, showing that it truly has its eyes on us.
Over the summer, we as a nation watched as the Black Lives Matter movement became more prevalent in the public eye. People began to speak up even more for their rights and what they believed in, and then Hamilton stepped onto the scene and became culturally significant in more ways than one.
The cast of Hamilton is completely multi-cultural, and everyone comes together to put on the same amazing show. Everyone involved is part of this great and influential work of art. This unity is arguably exactly what we needed to see, as a nation we need to see that we are also able to come together because when we do, we can make something beautiful out of it. In the midst of all that 2020 has given to the world so far, Hamilton is certainly something that came to the right place at the right time.
People often pride Hamilton on the music, vocals and showmanship; but what about its cultural significance? To build a future for this nation, it is important to understand how it started. Even though not everything in the musical is true to history (although seeing Hercules Mulligan as the flower girl in Alexander and Eliza’s wedding is hilarious), it still helps viewers to see a creative rendering of some of the founding aspects of this country. People arguably know a lot more now about Hamilton than they did walking out of their history class that only talked about duels and ten-dollar bills.
From the title song to the final chords of “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” this musical takes its viewers on an emotional rollercoaster ride through the United States’ early years and the ten-dollar founding father who did everything he could to not throw away his shot.