“Hamilton” & Creativity

You could roll out a wheelbarrow full of adjectives and still not capture the brilliance that is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton.

When I saw Hamilton at the Public Theater in February 2015—in previews, before any critic had anointed it as the groundbreaking work it undeniably is—I was astonished at how quickly it grabbed both my attention and my heart. Specificity. Complexity. Intelligence. Emotion—all the things I preach about to my clients, right there in one wondrous package.

Standing ovations have become the rule in New York rather than the exception. Someone in the front stands up during the curtain call, so everyone has to stand or miss seeing the actors’ bows. But the moment that preview performance of Hamilton ended, the entire audience leapt to its feet simultaneously. I’ve never seen anything like that before. And I probably never will again.

I’ve seen the show twice now—it’s even better on Broadway than it was downtown. But as remarkable as Hamilton is, what’s even more remarkable is the tsunami of creativity it has unleashed.

There’s the a cappella group that condensed the entire show into a beautifully arranged seven minutes.

There’s the fabulous opening number, which has been parodied in many ways by many people, including Lin-Manuel and the cast themselves: giving it the Sweeney Todd treatment at a Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS fund-raiser and using it to introduce host James Corden at last weekend’s Tony Awards.

But this may be my favorite Hamilton-inspired song—the children from the cast of Fun Home (itself a remarkable, groundbreaking, inspiring, multiple Tony Award-winning show) addressing themselves to Lin-Manuel directly:

“Gee, Mr. Miranda” – Fun Home at Easter Bonnet Competition 2016 from Broadway Cares on Vimeo.

  • storytelling
  • writing