alie hamilton

Representation Matters (a few Jewish celebrities that make me happy)

I am eight years old. The Olympics are on TV. Not really my thing, but my mom insists that we watch gymnastics. I watch as a girl from my country, Aly Raisman, does her floor routine to Hava Nagila. All I can think is, This girl is so talented. And she’s Jewish! Like me! And she’s proud of it! I don’t care that gymnastics had never interested me. I see a beautiful, strong girl on TV proudly displaying something she and i share. Something I’ve seen all my life, but not with famous people.

A couple years later, my emo phase. I’m out of touch with religion, but I’m getting into the “Emo Trinity.” As I delve deeper into bandom, I find out that Joe Trohman is Jewish. Fall Out Boy is one of my favorite bands, and even in this section of fandom that is full of Christian atheists, I find someone Jewish. Someone like me. He quickly becomes my favorite member.

It’s 2015. I discover that I’m pansexual, and it just seems to alienate me further. I know Jewish people. I know queer people. But no Jewish queer people. Religion and sexuality don’t mix… do they? Meanwhile, an openly gay singer, Troye Sivan, is gaining popularity. Not my genre, but it’s nice to see celebrities so proud of their sexualities. Somehow, I discover he’s Jewish. I read his description of how he celebrates Shabbat. Hey, that’s what I do! Wait… this means he’s a gay Jew! I’m not alone. I am not alone. It’s a powerful message to receive, and even though I still don’t listen to his music, he’s important to me just because of the impact he’s had by being himself.

The primaries for the 2016 presidential election have begun. Looking at the Democratic candidates, it’s obvious which one liberals my age prefer: Bernie Sanders. I can’t blame them. He’s smart, and he understands what we want. He aligns with me so well that I know I’d like to see him running my country. I see posts going around on the Jewish side of activist social media about Bernie being Jewish. The first time I’ve ever really understood what’s happening in a presidential election… and the first candidate I truly like is Jewish. And he has so much support. I see a Jew very similar to me getting attention gaining the support of so many people. When I expressed interest in being the president as a child, my parents would say, “You can be the first woman president and the first Jewish president!” The barrier is not broken, but he changes everything. He shows me what a Jewish person is really capable of.

Mid-2016. My friend forces me to listen to a song from some musical everybody’s obsessed with. Hamilton. I quickly fall in love like I’ve never done with a musical, and I begin to discover the cast. I see a member called Daveed Diggs. Daveed is a Jewish name in my experience, but the spelling is unfamiliar. It might be nothing. I’m likely just getting my hopes up. I try not to think about it. Hamilton is about representation, yes, but not Jewish representation. It’s for people who are black and Latino and even Asian, but not Jews. It’s not important that I’m represented with this particular show. I can let other minorities have their spotlight. Then I’m reading the Hamiltome. I reach an essay about Daveed Diggs and Okieriete Onaodowan and how they portray two radically different characters. Daveed Diggs has experience with split identities, the book informs me. He has a black father and a white Jewish mother. Wait… he’s Jewish? Daveed has the spotlight in Hamilton: his characters are loud and flashy and impressive, spitting out raps faster than anyone else. He is attractive and talented and right in the spotlight, even as a side character. He gets all this attention, and he’s Jewish. Like me. I do more research, try to find everything I can about his connections to Judaism. I talk about him nonstop, and my mom decides to nickname him my “Jewish boyfriend.” I draw him for a project in art class. Hamilton is about representation, yes, and even I am represented.

What I “Got” Out Of The 2016 Tony Awards
  • Hamilton is important.
  • Jessie Muller was literally crying on stage because Waitress is so amazing, is NOT important. 
  • School of Rock has 15 kids under the age of 12 nailing it every night! It’s NOT important. 
  • Audra McDonald is pregnant and tapping her a** off, it’s NOT important.
  • Bright Star gave us something so unbroadway in its music and somehow made it work amazingly, but it’s NOT important. 
  • Fidler on the Roof is an ageless story that everybody knows and loves, but too bad cause it’s NOT important. 
  • She Loves Me is a star-studded cast but pulls it all together so well, (Jane Krakowski’s legs?!!!)  NOT important. 
  • Spring Awakening and Michael Arden (WHO DIDN”T EVEN GET SHOWN ON TV) brought a whole other culture to Broadway that has never been there before, they recited ever line in BOTH English and ASL AT. THE. SAME. TIME. I guess it’s NOT important. 

This season they talked so much about diversity in the talent. Diversity is not just black and white. Diversity is people of all races, cultures, genders, etc. 

The Tony Awards are there to bring the community together, to show that EVERYBODY is important. “Love is love is love is love”. But this year, 2016, I personally felt that it was only about Hamilton, a beautiful show that deserves to get recognized, but what about all of the other shows that got nothing because Hamilton got everything? 

Ali Stroker is the first women on broadway in a wheelchair, there are deaf talent in a musical! These are things that nobody beside Michael Arden would have thought of, and he got ABSOLUTELY no recognition for it. 

The night was dedicated to those who were lost in Orlando, a night that was dedicated to the love and community of the theatre. There were so many shows on broadway this season, that were not even nominated. Shows that closed too soon. There were not even recognized, there were not important enough to share the light of Hamilton

There are ALL IMPORTANT. Amazing Grace, Lord of The Dance, Disaster, American Psycho, The Color Purple, Bright Star, Allegiance, Spring Awakening, On Your Feet, Dames At Sea, Fidler On The Roof, Waitress, School of Rock, Shuffle Along, Tuck Everlasting, She Loves Me, and Hamilton are ALL IMPORTANT and are ALL EQUAL. 

Update to the greatest week ever:

Friday: Ali and Ash at the rehersal dinner
Saturday: Ali and Ash at Allie Long’s wedding
Sunday: Ali and Ash at the OC gala
Monday: Ali and Ash at the Halloween party
Tuesday: Ali Krieger trade announced pending league approval
Wednesday: Ali Krieger officially traded to Orlando & CUBS WIN THE WORLD SERIES
Thursday: Hamilton Mixtape is announced giving me something I didn’t even know I needed

3

From Rio to Broadway! US women’s gymnastics team catch smash musical Hamilton as part of whirlwind NYC tour (Daily Mail):

The Tony Award-winning smash musical on Tuesday night welcomed the US women’s gymnastics team — Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian and Laurie Hernandez — who gave the show a standing ovation and greeted the cast onstage afterward at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

[…]

‘I thought you were amazing,’ Raisman told Tony Award-nominee Brandon Victor Dixon, who just happened to be making his debut appearance replacing Tony Award-winner Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr.

Dixon said: 'Gymnastics is my favorite Olympic sport, hands-down. Since the days of Kim Zmeskal, I’ve been about the US gymnastics team. So, I love these ladies. I’m so proud of them. I worship them.

'I think they’re amazing and I got so hyped when I heard they were in the audience tonight.’

The US women’s team won gold while also winning its second straight Olympic title and third overall. The team won a total of nine medals, including a record-tying four gold medals for Biles.

The women had to rush through Times Square — at one point virtually sprinting through the crowds — to get to the theater in time after taping The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at Rockefeller Plaza.

Rhonda Faehn, senior vice president of USA Gymnastics’ women’s program, said adding Hamilton to their busy post-Olympic schedule was an 'opportunity of a lifetime’.  

While they were in Rio, Biles’ coach would blast the Hamilton cast album for the athletes.

'It was just meant to be,’ Faehn said.

The cast and crew took turns taking photos with the athletes after the show and Renée Elise Goldsberry, who plays Angelica Schuyler, brought her young daughter to meet the so-called Final Five.

Goldsberry and her fellow Schuyler sisters — Lexi Lawson and Jasmine Cephas Jones — then posed for a photo with the five athletes, their hands in the air as they riffed off a lyric in the show by shouting 'Work!’

The show has been celebrated for putting African-American, Asian and Latinos at the center of America’s birth and the US Olympic team is a mix of races and ethnicities — black, white, Latina, Jewish.

'They’re just like tiny versions of us,’ said Okieriete Onaodowan, who plays both Hercules Mulligan and James Madison.

'It’s amazing but it’s also remarkable what they’re doing, just to be able to perform and not choke under that pressure. At a young age, to be able to perform that way and keep your cool? I’m totally impressed.’

more great photos from their NYC tour at the article!

  • A. Ham: The stars look beautiful tonight
  • Eliza: Yeah, they do.
  • A. Ham: You know who else is beautiful?
  • Eliza: *Blushes* Who?
  • A. Ham: I mean where do I start? We've got Mister Lafayette, hard rock like Lancelot, Hercules' pants look HOT, and John Laurens who I like a lot