Ever get the feeling you are the last one in the country to experience a pop culture phenomenon? Tarun and I finally - FINALLY! - saw Hamilton, the musical that took the world by storm five years ago. Talk about being behind the times!
Waxing poetic about the music, acting, and the mind-blown feeling would be rehashing what hundreds have said before and will continue to say in the years to come. I wasn't sure that I would be able to handle rap 'cos I am so old. Surprisingly, my brain adjusted to the poetry quickly.
(Truth be told, closed captioning helped a LOT!)
This morning, I woke up thinking of how Lin-Manuel Miranda even envisioned this spectacular concept? Musicals we understand but to write poetry to convey a story?!. Not any story, a two-hour and forty minute story!
Here are some fascinating facts I uncovered about the creator and the musical.
Miranda was only 29 years old when he unveiled in a White House appearance that he was working on a hip-hop story about Hamilton.
It took him one year to write the first song ("Alexander Hamilton") and another year to write the second one ("My Shot"). He wrote "Wait for It" in the subway. The man clearly dreams in poetry.
Oklahoma averages 59 words per minute for a total of 4,303 words. Phantom of the Opera comes in at 77 words per minute, 4709 words in all. And Hamilton clocks in at a whopping 144 words per minute for a total of 20,520 words. This has got to be good for the viewer's cognitive health!
Tickets sold out a year in advance and in eight performances in 2016, the show grossed 3.3M and was the first show to cross the 3M mark.
In the choreography, Burr walks in straight lines (no other option) and Hamilton in arcs (anything is possible), representing their world views and underscoring their conflict.
In the first year, Miranda made 7% in royalty from 1.5M per week in gross collections, which amounted to 105k per week, plus his actor's salary. He made 6.7M in 2017.
During Daveed Diggs' fast rap in "Guns and Ships" he averaged 6.3 words per second, the fastest ever in musical theater. Whoa!
In 2016, Hamilton made history with 16 Tony nominations for a musical. It went on to win 11, one short of the record of 12 wins by The Producers.
If you haven't seen it, the movie - shot over three days at the Rodgers Theater in NYC - is streaming on Disney+. Enjoy!
(Image from cbc.ca and stats from cbc.ca, fivethirtyeight.com, and factinate.com)