Why “Hamilton” Appeals To Everyone

The Financial Times has published my analysis of how the new musical “Hamilton,” which opens tonight on Broadway, appeals to people on both sides of the political divide. Bottom line: ‘The show exerts such wide appeal, first, by being so diverting. Lin-Manuel Miranda and his cast members may be mostly in their thirties, but musically they summon the tastes of everyone from eight to 80, making exuberant use not only of hip-hop but of jazz, R&B and 1960s pop. Second, Miranda’s show, for all its originality, plays it relatively safe. Hamilton may sing of guns and the story may culminate in a duel between Hamilton and vice-president Aaron Burr, but Miranda is much less a theatrical revolutionary than a theatrical traditionalist. He is much more like the Hamilton of Act Two, married to an heiress and part of the power élite, than the Hamilton of Act One, who longs to break down the old order.’

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