After three weeks of previews, the Broadway production of Hamilton will officially open on Aug. 6 at New York’s Richard Rodgers Theatre. The hip-hop-centric musical is shaping up to be one of the most unique and interesting Broadway shows of the year. In its first week of previews alone, Hamilton played to its full capacity at the 1,319-seat theater and grossed over $1.2 million.
If you’re not yet convinced by all the hype surrounding this new musical, we’ve put together a list of 10 reasons you should plan on making a trip to see this surefire Broadway hit on stage this season.
1. The show was created by (and stars) Tony and GRAMMY winner Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the music, book, and lyrics for Hamilton, but this isn’t his first effort to hit the Broadway stage. The Manhattan native was also the brains behind In the Heights, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2008. As he did with In the Heights’ early Broadway run, Miranda is also taking to the stage as the lead role in Hamilton.
2. It’s a hip-hop extravaganza.
Like In the Heights, Miranda’s newest musical features a range of musical stylings, but it’s the focus on hip-hop that’s making waves in the musical theater world. Rap is a rare genre to appear on the Broadway stage, and it’s hardly a common means of telling the story of America’s Founding Fathers.
3. Hamilton is historically accurate.
Miranda first got the idea for this musical after reading Ron Chernow’s award-winning biography “Alexander Hamilton,” but Chernow’s contributions didn’t stop there. The New York Times bestselling author--who won the George Washington Book Prize for his work--eventually came on board to serve as Hamilton’s official historical consultant.
4. Tony nominee (and “Glee” star) Jonathan Groff is also on the cast list.
The role of King George is played by Jonathan Groff, who “Glee” fans will remember as the character Jesse St. James. But Groff also has prior Broadway credits to his name: He was nominated for a Tony Award in 2007 for his performance as Melchior in Spring Awakening.
5. The rest of the cast also features a handful of hip-hop and freestyle experts.
Miranda is part of the group Freestyle Love Supreme, an improv hip-hop group, and his cohort from the outfit, Christopher Jackson, tackles the role of George Washington in Hamilton. Daveed Diggs, a rapper from Oakland, Calif., is also in the show taking on the personalities of two historical icons: Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette.
6. The off-Broadway production of Hamilton won more than two dozen awards.
Earlier this year, Hamilton’s off-Broadway run took home 10 Lucille Lortel Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, and six Drama Desk Awards--including Outstanding Musical--in addition to earning recognition from many other organizations.
7. Hamilton has presidential approval.
Alexander Hamilton may never have been elected to the office of president, but he definitely has fans in the Oval Office. During the Hamilton musical’s first week of previews, President Barack Obama attended a performance with his daughters, and he even gave the show a standing ovation. A few weeks later, Vice President Biden also took his wife to the musical.
8. Celebrities have been raving about Hamilton--both off and on Broadway.
Since opening off-Broadway, the Hamilton musical has been visited by its fair share of A-list celebrities. The early production was reportedly visited by Helen Mirren, Robert De Niro, Julia Roberts, and rap legend Busta Rhymes, while the show’s Richard Rodgers Theatre run has seen visits from Jennifer Lopez, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Alex Trebek, and more.
9. Theater critics have also sung praises of the hit musical.
In February, Ben Brantley of the New York Times gave a glowing review of Hamilton’s off-Broadway production, stating that the show “aims impossibly high and hits its target.” The veteran theater critic isn’t the only one who’s become enamored of this hip-hop marvel: Variety called the show “irresistible,” Entertainment Weekly praised the score as “instantly memorable,” and Vogue hailed Miranda as “the fresh voice of a new generation in musical theater.”
10. Hamilton Broadway could very well mark a turning point in musical theater.
Where other hip-hop musicals (like the Tupac bio, Holler If Ya Hear Me) and historical musicals (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) have failed to appeal to a long-term audience, Hamilton seems poised to be a financial and critical success. The seamless execution of contemporary musical styles, historical accuracy, and a talented, culturally diverse cast may prove to be the winning formula that will usher in a new Broadway era.
Ready to secure your seat in the audience? Check out the Hamilton Broadway schedule today.