[…] But the deafening din crackled with the spirit of a communal rally. The musical’s full-throated affirmation of diversity, inclusion and tolerance has taken on new urgency now that these values have fallen under sharp attack. “Hamilton” has become part of the resistance.
Parts civics class, part hip-hop extravaganza, part town hall, the show celebrates in rapping flow the ideals our Founding Fathers battled to define and defend nearly 2½ centuries ago — ideals that are still being vociferously fought over today.
The never-ending project of forming a “more perfect Union,” as the Preamble to the Constitution puts it, is what separates “Hamilton” from the other 21st century Broadway juggernauts (“The Producers,” “Wicked,” “The Book of Mormon”) that have given theater a sugar rush of popularity.
Hamilton and Lafayette’s high-five moment on the battlefield acknowledging the contribution of immigrants to the cause of freedom (“We get the job done”) has been provoking thunderous applause since the show’s off-Broadway start at the Public Theater in 2015. But the cheers at the SHN Orpheum were tinged with the ironic recognition of President Trump’s immigrant-phobic policies and proposals. In loudly endorsing the sentiment of the characters, the audience seemed to be rooting on its own activism and dissent.
Similarly, the song “History Has Its Eyes on You” takes on an even more mournful resonance than before. The image of George Washington shouldering with grave dignity his responsibilities as leader of the burgeoning democracy stands in stark contrast to the partisan shenanigans going on in Washington today. History not only has its eyes on us but it also helps us to see how far we are falling short.
“Hamilton” simultaneously highlights some of very real strides that have been made in the struggle for liberty and equality. The musical’s multicultural cast, portraying seminal figures in the story of America’s founding, is part of the show’s progressive message.
I’ll have more to say about the virtuoso spell of Joshua Henry’s Aaron Burr, the swaggering vigor of Emmy Raver-Lampman’s Angelica Schuyler and the intelligent if somewhat muted presence of Michael Luwoye’s Hamilton when the production opens in L.A. But the kinetic charge of the show comes in large part from the teamwork of this diverse and dynamic ensemble.
“Hamilton” is a generational phenomenon, a box office sensation that has been critically hailed for its groundbreaking style. The only Broadway musical in the last 25 years that remotely compares to it in terms of cultural impact is “Rent,” but Miranda’s masterpiece has a wider reach. Not many shows can claim former Vice President Dick Cheney and Jay Z as fans.
The New York company’s controversial curtain call speech to then-Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who caught the show after the election, may have provoked twitter thunderbolts from Trump, but “Hamilton” is open to all who uphold bedrock democratic principles. No American musical understands better the ideological combat that goes into governing. Patriots from both sides of the aisle have sung the show’s praises. […]
“I’d like to think Mr. Carter and I understand each other. Nobody who met us as younger men would have expected us to be where we are today. We know what it’s like not to have a father around. We know what it’s like not to come from much and to know people who didn’t get the same breaks that we did. So we tried to prop open those doors of opportunity so it’s a little easier for those who come up behind us to succeed as well.
Jay and I are also fools for our daughters, although he’s going to have me beat once those two twins show up. And let’s face it: we both have wives who are significantly more popular than we are.
Like all of you, I am a fan. I’ve been listening to Jay since I was a young and hungry State Senator. I sampled his lyrics to close my speech at Selma; I tweeted a reference to ‘My 1st Song’ as I was putting the finishing touches on my final State of the Union address; I had to brush some dirt off my shoulders during a campaign.
So I’m pretty sure I’m still the only President to listen to JAY Z’s music in the Oval Office. That may change at some point, but I’m pretty sure that’s true now. In fact, Jay, you have been inspiring in making me want to be active in my retirement just like you have been in yours, so I’m going to close by saying something Jay once said that struck me. He said: 'I’ve never looked at myself and said that I need to be a certain way to be around a certain sort of people. I’ve always wanted to stay true to myself, and I’ve managed to do that. People have to accept that.’ So with that, I’m proud to help present this award to a true American original, the first hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Mr. Shawn Carter.”
You and Jay were laying on the couch, facing each other on opposite sides on the couch. Jay had recently came back from touring and you too were having a lazy. Jay was doing last minute stuff on his phone and computer and you were playing with Oscar and P.J on your lap.
While playing with both of them an idea pops into your head.
You look at Jay and see he’s totally enveloped in what’s going on his computer, typing away.
You unlock your phone and open snapchat and bring up the puppy filter. You flip the camera so that it’s facing Jay and zoom in on his face. You pretend that your taking a selfie of yourself so that he doesn’t get suspicious.
“Hey Jay” you call out to him.
“Whats up baby girl?” He asks eyes glued still to the computer.
“Babe look at me ” you said still pretending that your looking at yourself on your phone.
Jay looks up and the cute puppy ears and nose appears on your boyfriends face. You giggle silently at how cute he looks.
“Whats wrong baby?” He asks, licking his lips, wondering why your giggling.
“Say aaaaah” you say to him. Only to get a weird look from your boyfriend.
“What baby” he says and the cute tongue comes causing you to laugh and “awe” at how cute your boyfriend looks. The video stops and you look at it and laugh at how cute he looks.
“Whats so funny?” “What are you watching babe?” Jay said wondering about your recent demand.
“What? Oh nothing babe” you say. Jay looks at you and gets up from his spot and walks to you. You hide your phone before Jay can see the video you did of him.
“What is that ” he says tackling you. You laugh at your boyfriend and give up on your attempts of not showing him
“Ugh, fine ” you say showing him the video. Jay looks at it dumbfounded.
“Delete it” he says with a smirk on his face.
“Why it’s so cute ” you say to him pouting.
“I will never hear the end of it if one of the guys sees me with that puppy thing ”
“Whatever it’s called ” “ You can’t post it.”
You pout even more. “Can I at least save the video, just for my eyes to see.” You ask adding puppy eyes to your pout.
He groans “fine.” “But only for your eyes got me?”
“I got it” you say laughing.
LATER THAT DAY:
“BAAAAAAAAABBBBBEEE” you hear Jay yell all the way from your spot in the kitchen.
“JAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY” you scream back and look up from your phone to see your boyfriend.
“Oh hey ” you say smiling at him.
“So guess who just called me?” Jay asked.
“Wha- No Cha Cha did, and guess what he said”
“ He said you have pretty eyes”
“I wish. but no he didn’t, he said I looked cute with that GODDAMN PUPPY FILTER VIDEO YOU TOOK OF ME ON SNAPCHAT.”
You looked at Jay trying to hold back a laugh.
“I thought you said you deleted it?” He said to you.
“I was trying to but when I went to save it my finger accidentally pressed the “add to story” button.“
"Then why didn’t you delete it?”
“I was but you looked so cute I watched it over and over again and I forgot to delete it”
He looked at you dumbfounded. You tried in all your power not to laugh.
“How many people have seen this video?”
You thought for a moment. “Everyone”
He sighed. “Just great”
You wrapped your hands around your boyfriends neck.
“At least you looked hella cute” you said with your hands in his hair.
He wrapped his arms around you and kissed you while squeezing your butt.
“You’re sooooo lucky I love you” he says kissing you again giving your butt another squeeze.
“And I love you, my little puppy” you said kissing his cheek, giggling.
“Aaaaaaaaaand you ruined it” he said shaking his head and walking away, laughing, leaving you there on the kitchen floor laughing hysterically.