Hi! Do you think there will ever be Hamilton on this blog?
I’ve blogged about Hamilton-related things before (such as this post by Mod Finn @nerdsagainstfandomracism), but as far as blogging about the show itself, I haven’t here on DHF for a couple of reasons:
1. This blog focuses primarily on genre (fantasy, scifi, comics, horror), with occasional posts about historical revisionism and race.
2. As much as I like the music of Hamilton and the casting choices, it’s really neither of those things.
3. The racial issues in regards to fandom and Hamilton are in a league of their own. What other fandom has white people romanticizing slaveholders via black and brown actors? There are so many complicated things going on regarding Hamilton, its reception, and fandom that it deserves to be covered by someone who is an active part of the fandom. Which I’m not.
That said, theater is a major part of my life (I’m a professional theater reviewer), and I definitely appreciate what Hamilton’s doing as far as creating roles intended for actors of color. I see all of the touring Broadway companies that come to town, and the lack of color can be glaring. These shows rarely cast creatively – yes, I love that there’s inclusion in shows like Kinky Boots and the Rent revival, but most of the touring shows have a nostalgia angle and feature no actors of color in major roles, if at all. (This isn’t so much the case with local shows in my town – a community theater here recently did an almost all-Black (literally one character was white) version of Cabaret and it was AMAZING. The touring Cabaret company – the one that earns professional wages – is all white.)
And while some big shows like Les Mis have diversified and any respectable Shakespeare company is going to be inclusive, the whiteness of professional American theater is still an issue. So, everything else aside, I love that Hamilton came in with a cast of color that challenges the audience’s perceptions, and that has to be cast with actors of color to be true to its vision.