Review: Hamilton: An American Musical

The story behind the Broadway sensation
Photo taken by Snigdha Shenoy.
Photo taken by Snigdha Shenoy.

“I may not live to see our glory. But I will gladly join the fight. And when our children tell our story, they’ll tell the story of tonight.” – “Hamilton: An American Musical”

“Hamilton” first debuted on Broadway on Aug. 6, 2015. Written by award-winning playwright and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton” follows the life story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. 

Miranda was reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton when he was inspired to create a rap mixtape about his story. The mixtape went on to become a renowned musical and its music, choreography, design and original cast went on to earn 11 Tony Awards. It also won the Grammy for the Best Musical Theater Album and Miranda was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The musical is split into two acts, covering the Founding Father’s life from adolescence to his death. It opens with Hamilton’s early life as a teenaged orphan immigrant from the Caribbean, before following his journey to becoming Secretary of the Treasury under General George Washington, who commanded the Army during the American Revolution before becoming the first President of the United States. It also includes a romantic aspect, showing the length of his relationship with Eliza Schuyler, from their first time meeting each other all the way to the end of their lives together. Throughout the show, we also see Hamilton’s rivalry with Aaron Burr, another Founding Father who ends up dueling with Hamilton at the end of his life.

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Combining elements of hip-hop, rap, rhythm and blues and soul music with American history, the “Hamilton” soundtrack is unique. Though many creative liberties were taken to make the story more appealing to audiences, the historical basis of the musical is very clear. Teachers nationwide have even used “Hamilton” songs to teach their students about early American history. 

“Hamilton” displays a diverse cast, and with the tagline “America then told by America now,” all of the lead roles are played by people of color. Though all of the characters portrayed were white in real life, casting people of color was Miranda’s way of showcasing the diverse talent of modern America.

The musical first made its debut on Broadway in 2015 and, to this day, plays eight times a week at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York. It isn’t limited to the Theater District, either, with performances at local theaters across the country. In fact, the musical will be showing at Broadway in Austin beginning in March of 2025. 

Though the show was originally set to be released in theaters in October 2021, it was instead released for streaming on Disney+ in July 2020. TV analytics provider Samba TV said that 2.7 million U.S. households streamed the film in its first 10 days on the platform.

The musical inspired a national conversation about race and pushed the boundaries of music and art. It grossed millions of dollars in ticket sales and solidified a historical narrative into twenty-first century pop culture. Today, “Hamilton”’s impact extends far beyond the stage. 


Snigdha Shenoy at the “Hamilton” Musical Show.


Here is my final rating of “Hamilton,” broken down into four categories: 

     Plot: 9/10

     Music/Lyrics: 10/10

     Characters/Cast: 9/10

     Set: 8/10

Overall, I would rate this musical a 9/10. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and while the plot is not entirely historically accurate, it is intricately crafted for the audience to enjoy and relate to, regardless of their prior historical background. The soundtrack and set are both stunning, and everyone who watches the musical can take away important life lessons and historical knowledge from the story.

*Editor’s note: Snigdha Shenoy is a student writer. All views expressed in the commentary are her own and are independent of the district, Rouse High School and the publication.

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