Passionately Smashin’ Every Expectation


Barry Burnette

Hamilton came to Greenville in December 2018 and, because of the thousands of fans in South Carolina, sold out in just a few hours (Photo courtesy of Barry Burnette).

Broadway has always had immense success throughout the years, but one musical has risen to the top faster than ever. Lin-Manuel Miranda told the story of one of America’s founding fathers in an award-winning performance. Hamilton, one of the newest Broadway sensations, tells the life of Alexander Hamilton through rap and hip-hop style music. After only its second year on tour, Hamilton has come to the Peace Center in Greenville.

“I think it’s great [that] Hamilton is coming to Greenville. While I’m really sad I can’t go to see it again, I think everyone should try to see it at least once in their life,” said junior Sarah Buckmaster.

Alexander Hamilton is best known for his contributions to the American Revolution with the creation of the United States national bank and his infamous feud with Thomas Jefferson. While most people learn about Hamilton’s effects on the United States government, very few know about his personal life, which involves conflict, romance, and scandals. Hamilton is a musical narration of the entirety of Alexander Hamilton’s life.

“I think one of the most interesting parts is that Hamilton is all based on real history. It’s a unique take on telling historical events. I think it became so popular because it was so different. Lin-Manuel Miranda defied the laws of Broadway and was extremely successful in doing so. I think it made everyone see history in a new light since Alexander Hamilton was only human,” said junior Kylee Jones.

The enormous biography of Alexander Hamilton, written by Ron Chernow, completely enthralled Lin-Manuel Miranda. Hamilton reminded Miranda of his father, who was an immigrant from Puerto Rico. Hamilton was born out of wedlock, raised surrounded by poverty and death, and then made just enough money to immigrate to New York City in what would soon become the United States of America. He would go on to get involved in some of the messiest disagreements, make some of the most impactful decisions, and create some of the most brilliant plans in U.S. history. Miranda then began writing and composing the 46 songs that make up the Hamilton soundtrack.

“The first time I heard Hamilton I fell in love with it because it tells a story that everyone knows in a way I’d never heard before. While I’m a big fan of the music and the production itself, I think the best part has to be the fact that the story is told through the eyes of someone unexpected. Alexander Hamilton was an immigrant with no money, no fame, and many flaws. In spite of all of that, he played a major part in building our country. It shows the American dream,” said Buckmaster.

Miranda proposed to create a musical portraying one of America’s most famous founding fathers as a rapper. Though many people laughed at his idea, Miranda was determined. He also chose to shed light on broader conflicts of the time, including slavery and women’s rights. He even cast all minorities for the lead roles to emphasize the issues even more. While Miranda’s out-of-the-box take on history seemed risky, Hamilton is almost completely historically accurate. Miranda wanted historians to respect Hamilton.

“I think that Hamilton became popular so quickly because the storyline is so real; it actually happened. Also, Lin made it seem so fun and cool to learn about historical events,” said freshman Katelin Finey.

Over the course of its time on Broadway, Hamilton has not had trouble winning countless awards. Some of its most impressive awards include Tony Awards, Laurence Olivier Awards, a Drama Desk Award, a Drama League Award, Outer Critics Circle Awards, a Grammy Award, and a Pulitzer Prize. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s faith and passion in Hamilton has done nothing less than change the world. The outstanding musical has reshaped the standards for Broadway, music, and history in so many ways.

“It’s so amazing! I wish I could have gotten tickets to see it in Greenville. The only thing I would change would be to make it more family friendly so even more people can enjoy it,” said freshman Sarah Rohrer.

In the end, Alexander Hamilton, originally played by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is shot and killed in a duel with his enemy Aaron Burr, originally played by Leslie Odom Jr. However, he has proven that anyone, even a poor immigrant with nothing more than a few ideas and some determination, can leave a legacy that is still being recognized almost 215 years after his death.

“Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see. I wrote some notes at the beginning of a song someone will sing for me. America, you great unfinished symphony, you sent for me. You let me make a difference [in] a place where even orphan immigrants can leave their fingerprints and rise up,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda in the final song in the Hamilton soundtrack, “The World Was Wide Enough.”

Tracey Daniel
Hamilton quickly became one of the most popular American musicals on Broadway and left to go on tour in 2016 (Photo courtesy of Tracey Daniel).