Monday, 16 March 2020

Musical review: Hamilton

90252544_10157958933532350_9084115092445855744_o (1) We went to see Hamilton the Musical last weekend. Originally we planned it as a birthday gift for my mother, but alas Coronavirus isolation put paid to that; and with D pulling out too we roped in two of E's friends: Mi and Gl. M and I caught the train at 12:44 post (for me) Winter League 3 (a felt good row but alas somewhat slow); walked to and looked around the British Museum; and then Lime eBiked to our Hotel (the Hotel Corona!) in Pimlico (£5 each for that distance, Tube would have cost less but in these times, avoiding the Underground seemed both sensible and more fun). Thence to LimeOrange Korean restaurant (convenient to hotel and show; decent; did nice tofu but only of one sort) where we met up with the Youth. And so, on to the show.

You can listen to the soundtrack online via Youtube if you please. It's kinda HipHoppy; well sung, so the words are distinguishable with some effort, and you can follow the storyline (all sung; none spoken). As a musical, it's good: fun, dynamic, vibrant, dramatic, that kind of stuff. If you're actually interested in the story of Hamilton and his times that helps; but don't go to the show for the information; you'd get far more by reading his biog on Wiki.

Unlike An Inspector Calls I think I don't have much to say because there's not much to analyse. But I'll criticise a few things. The adulation the show has received in the good ol' US of A has more to do with their love of their founding story than the show's historical quality

In discussing the Federalist papers, they blur the decade between the revolution, the initial constitution, and the congress that wrote the new (since amended) constitution that we know today. Although they push H's authorship of TFP, they don't tell you anything about what he wrote. They don't even tell you that he was for strong central govt. They do cover him founding the National Bank.

Jefferson comes across as Prince, which is weird (but funny; George III is also funny). Indeed, quite a lot (maybe half?) of the cast are black, which is also weird; it's kinda like they're trying to make some kind of point (blacks helped in the revolution?) and can't find any way to say it in words; Wiki's not brilliant section of criticism covers this, somewhat. The love songs are mawkish, but doubtless that's what the crowds demand.

The Youth went home after the show; M and I to the hotel for a peaceful night; for me an early run; followed by b'fast and then a slow walk up the the National Gallery, mostly for the early stuff; and so home. The theatre was full; the museums and London in general were quiet.

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