Hamilton 2 – May I have 20,000 words with you?

Nothing plain about Hamilton, except for the printed ticket.
Note: Ticket PRICE not shown actual size … if you know what I mean!
Ticket to Hamilton

Why was “Hamilton An American Musical” something I had to see a second time in May 2016? Because I “heard” and “felt” far more than I saw that first time in 2015 (Hamilton 1 – Love at First Lyrics). My mental “vision” was obscured by the fun of processing all those delightful words that enamored me while I embraced them.

Reviewing my first viewing:

  • A few costumes were memorable, but most were invisible to me.
  • A few staging elements were obvious, but many were missed.
  • I recalled two duels. There were three? “Unimportant!” I recalled words that described the duels in a manner history books would never do.
  • There were three sisters. Only two appeared in act two? The other played a new role? What was that? Mariah Reynolds – how memorable!
  • The actors were in costume only from the neck down, carrying their own looks above the chin. That broke new ground? My next musical outing, ‘1776,’ follows suit and its program credits Hamilton for the breakthrough.
  • There were jazzy dance numbers. If this was hip-hop, where was the lewd anger I associated with that genre? There was misfit music from King George III. That was homage to 1960s pop?

Enough with nuance. At this stage I’m more interested in the 20,000-plus words from the show.

Hamilton, the historical, fought in the war, fought the British, fought with George Washington, fought with James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and ultimately “Aaron Burr, sir.

Hamilton, as acted, fired round after round – of words. Did he rhyme the word “pseudonym” in song? Yes! Did Daveed Diggs as Lafayette machine-gun words in an era of muskets? Yes! Did Washington via Christopher Jackson battle the British plus wax poetic? Yes, in recorded history conveyed verbatim in the performance!

Where do I find more about these words? What rhymes did I miss? What syllables were slipped in? What more did Washington recite? The dual-CD jackets list them all. Genius.com deepens understanding of their meaning. A PBS documentary helps show “from whence they came.” … “Are you ready for more yet?

I know – there is a book. Ron Chernow wrote the biography “Alexander Hamilton” that started Lin-Manuel’s journey to this stage. Not that book?

Another is “Hamilton The Revolution” by Jeremy McCarter. He seized upon the show and the creator, embedded himself as a correspondent would, and wrote a book about a musical about a book about a man. Jeremy had Lin on his side for this creation; “it must be nice.

“The Revolution” conveyed a bigger “part of the narrative” after the second viewing in NYC left me still incomplete. It illuminated the words. Plus, wonderful photos helped me see what I had seen-yet-not-seen on stage.

One photograph captures a scene: “the bullet.” Had I seen that scene? “The bullet” doesn’t appear in the Playbill, but Hamilton fans know the role. An actor portrays the suspension of time by slowly tracing the projectile’s path. This occurs in the ultimate duel. Yet McCarter’s book shows this role also occurred earlier. How did I clearly witness one instance and fail to see the other in both showings? It was another case of, “What’d I miss?

With such a detailed question I had apparently crossed many thresholds of fan interest and was lost deep inside the house that is Hamilton the musical. It won’t be enough to “write my way out.” I’ll have to see it all again. (Hamilton 3 – The third time and I’m charmed.)

One more thing.” Some find themselves emotional during Hamilton. My first show was pure wonderment. My second was marked by sadness during the ultimate duel. The death scene wasn’t the cause. Rather, I knew the performance was nearing completion. That was indeed a sad sensation, reprised in my third viewing.

*Note: Italicized quotes are from “Hamilton An American Musical.”

All smiles outside Richard Rodgers but still not “Satisfied”
after our second Hamilton, May, 2016.
Richard Rogers Theatre, New York, NY, October, 2015

*Note: Italicized quotes are from “Hamilton An American Musical.”

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