Tuesday 22 November 2016

HAMILTON: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

  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 theatre, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims the origins of the United States 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 theatre 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.

I have to admit that when the Hamilton craze swept through America, I had no idea what it was about. It actually took me quite a while to find out what everyone was talking about, and when I did I didn't really care much. I'm not a big American history buff, so it didn't sound like something I would be into. And to this day, I still haven't heard a single song. I know, my bad. :/ But what I do like is how Lin-Manuel Miranda modernised an old history lesson in a very diverse way.

That, is awesome on so many levels. So I'm really happy about his success. He's obviously a very talented writer, composer and lyricist, plus seems like an all-round good guy who's managed to revolutionise theatre itself. So, good on him!

Now, for the book and why I was interested in checking it out. Well, for one thing: it's beautiful. It seriously looks like a book that was made years ago and got lost in history only to resurface again. The pages are uneven, some of the colours even seem faded and mostly are matte, but the content is HUGE. There's, of course, the musical. Then there are behind-the-scene photos and features about the actors, heaps of footnotes, outfit design sketches, notebook pages, interviews, historical facts that relate to the Hamilton story and a whole lot more.

I think this book is a MUST for any and all Hamilton fans.

It really is lovely!

Hamilton: The Revolution, October 2016, ISBN 9781408709238, Little, Brown

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