It’s been exactly 10 days since my mom and I saw “Hamilton” FOR REAL.
I’m not talking a makeshift reenactment in our living room, purely for the sake of animating one of the most amazing soundtracks known to man.
I’m talking the real set, the real actors, the real THEATER where it’s all meant to go down.
And in that 10 days, I haven’t stopped thinking about it. It’s the only music I’ve listened to. It’s all I see when I close my eyes. If people would allow me to choose conversational topics, “Hamilton” would be it, no questions asked.
It’s been 10 days and I can’t get over how IN MY HEAD Lin-Manuel Miranda managed to get.
If you’re not familiar with the storyline (spoiler alert) it calls attention to our vastly underappreciated founding father, Alexander Hamilton. We see how he became George Washington’s right-hand man, created the country’s financial system, and sealed Thomas Jefferson’s fate as president No. 3.
Big names are dropped, for sure. But none of them matter quite as much as Aaron Burr.
Hamilton and Burr defined “frenemies”.
And the way Lin-Manuel developed each character, ultimately blurring the line between protagonist and antagonist, is SERIOUSLY messing with me.
Here’s what it boils down to: Hamilton knew what he wanted, told anyone who would listen and did whatever it took to get it. Burr, on the other hand, preferred to play it safe. He never chose sides, went with the flow and waited for things to happen.
That said, of course the hero is the go-getter. The one who overcomes all odds to make a name for himself, make a change, make a difference. It’s inspiring! I left the theater totally convinced I could do anything I set my mind to.
But I’ll be damned if I didn’t fully understand and identify with Burr’s main tune.
“Wait for It” basically says everything happens exactly as it should, you just have to let things run their course. It calls out people like Hamilton who grab at everything, hit constant roadblocks, and ultimately make life more difficult than it needs to be.
IT SPEAKS TO ME ON A VERY DEEP LEVEL. But Burr’s the butthead. The grump. The curmudgeon turned murderer.
I’m not supposed to empathize with him!
And yet, here we are. With me listening to “Wait for It” several times a day, likely singing along at the top of my lungs with very dramatic facial expressions and arm gestures to boot.
Does this mean I’m not a go-getter? That I don’t work for the things I want? That I expect everything to be handed to me on a silver platter?
I HOPE NOT. But therein lies my crisis. How am I so inspired by Hamilton and yet so understanding of Burr’s take on life?
What have you done to me, Lin-Manuel?
I suppose there could be a quality middle ground, right? One where I know what I want, feel things out and speak up when the time is right. One where I may not dive headfirst into a situation, but not because I’m not interested! I just prefer to talk things through before making any major decisions.
Is this fine? Am I doing life wrong? DOES THIS DISQUALIFY ME FROM EVER PARTICIPATING IN A REVOLUTION?
Who knows. Maybe it means nothing at all and I’m seriously overthinking the lyrics to a song because I never realized how interesting Alexander Hamilton was and now feel the need to be interesting in my own right.
All I know is the show itself did not disappoint. If you’ve heard the hype and doubt any show could possibly be that good, know it’s better.
Give them a listen and let me know if any of the narratives send you down a similar wormhole. We can work through it together.
Just kidding, I also love “You’ll Be Back“, masterfully delivered by Jonathan Groff.