Unless you have been sleeping under a rock, you know that the musical “Hamilton” is on Broadway, and you should also know that it is one of the most amazing pieces of musical theater ever. Ever. The story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton brilliantly told through genius writing and composing using a mash up of hip hop and a host of other influences, featuring a black and brown cast. George Washington, the father of our country? Played by a Black man (Chris Jackson). James Madison? Okieriete Onaodowan. Alexander Hamilton? Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is also the playwright and composer. And a genius. (But anyone who has seen the play knew this even before the MacArthur Foundation gave him a genius award.)
If you don’t live in NYC and/or can’t get tickets, you don’t have to miss out. You can get the Hamilton soundtrack! Since this musical has little to no spoken words, when you listen to the soundtrack you are essentially hearing the play in its entirety. And since this is GCP, here is why GCP parents should get the soundtrack: it is the most delightful and addictive way for your sons (and you) to learn about a slice of American History. Until this play, Hamilton was one of the lesser known Founding Fathers. Despite his creation of our national financial system, his establishment of the first national bank, his service as the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, and his appearance on our ten dollar bill, Hamilton was a fairly unsung hero of our nation’s origins. After you and your sons listen to the Hamilton soundtrack (again and again, as it is incredibly addictive), you will have a much greater understanding of the man and his role in creating our nation. You and your sons will find yourselves humming and discussing General George Washington’s frustration with the progress of the revolution (“Right Hand Man”) and the cabinet debate between Secretary of State Jefferson and Treasury Secretary Hamilton over Hamilton’s plan to establish a national bank recast as a rap battle (“Cabinet Battle #1”).
This play is so rich in American history and so much fun to watch that the Rockefeller Foundation wanted to make sure students could see it. The foundation recently donated $1.5 million to allow 70,000 NYC public high school students to see the play next Spring. Shades of #SelmaForStudents!!
If your son already happens to be a fan of American History, have him read Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton, which was Lin-Manuel’s inspiration for the play. Still not convinced? Check out this CBS Sunday morning piece about Lin-Manuel Miranda and “Hamilton” here and these short clips from the play here.
Download it, Spotify it, buy the CD, by any means necessary get the Hamilton soundtrack now!!