It, perhaps surprised no one, but the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album went to “Hamilton.” However, it gives me another opportunity to repeat what a wonderful show it is. At the award ceremony, the cast of the show, who all appear to be the same people who were in the show when I saw it on Broadway a few months ago, performed the opening number, “Alexander Hamilton.” It tells of Hamilton’s early life prior to his arrival in New York. Born in “a forgotten spot in the middle of the Caribbean,” abandoned by his father, his mother died of a fever when he was less than thirteen years of age, leaving Hamilton impoverished. Hamilton was then taken in by a cousin who committed suicide. He found employment as a clerk with an import export company. “A hurricane came and devastation reigned.” The self-educated seventeen-year-old wrote an article about the storm for a Danish-American newspaper which drew attention for its style. Community leaders “took up a collection just to send him to the mainland” to get an education. The play starts as Hamilton arrives in New York.
I’m embedding this version because WordPress doesn’t seem to accommodate videos from sources other than YouTube. You can really get the sense of how well the “rap” style works in the play. It doesn’t come across as gimmicky at all.