In a time where blockbuster and Oscar-nominated films are delivering roughly 0 to 46 seconds of lines from non-white actors (just ask Venezuelan-born Dylan Marron, creator of Every Single Word Spoken by a Person of Color in [Mainstream Film Title], television has been taking necessary steps to create diversity in their programming and another stage has too – Broadway. Cue in Hamilton, a hip-hop-influenced musical created and written by Tony award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda.
A story based on an 832-page biography about the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton may not seem like a revolutionary idea. But it’s more than just the story. It’s people who tell it. Hamilton, which just made its way to Broadway, depicts America’s white founding fathers as played by actors of color; in Miranda’s rendering, Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington have black and brown faces. “Our cast looks like America looks now, and that’s certainly intentional,” Miranda told the New York Times. And then there’s the fact that the play has a hip-hop soundtrack, which Manuel previewed in his Wesleyan commencement speech in May.
What’s revolutionary is that color wasn’t a prime factor in the telling of an American story. It’s an American story played by American actors. Maybe that’s why the musical brought in $27.6 million in pre-sale numbers, with just over 200,000 tickets sold in advance, making it one of the biggest pre-opening totals in Broadway history.
As for the musical component, hip-hop fans will be pleased to hear nods to songs by Mobb Deep, Notorious B.I.G., and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. The Roots members Questlove and Black Thought have also been tapped to produce the original cast soundtrack. Miranda, a native Nuyorican, told the NYT that the story of Hamilton, an orphaned immigrant, was a story “made for hip-hop.”
If you’re looking to buy some tickets now, your best bet is to pray to find tickets at face value. With the rate they’re going at, Hamilton tickets are currently averaging $355.83 on the resale market.