CHS students explain ‘Hamilton’s sudden popularity as it comes to a closer location

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CHS students explain ‘Hamilton’s sudden popularity as it comes to a closer location

Sweeping 11 Tony Awards, with tickets selling for more than a $1,000 apiece, and tickets sold out for months, “Hamilton” the musical has manifested into a musical phenomenon nationwide. A year after its Broadway debut, “Hamilton” is coming to Chicago this September and many CHS students are seizing the opportunity to see the show.

“I think a lot of people want to go see the Chicago musical because there are people who can’t go to New York and want to see it,” said “Hamilton Enthusiast” and  junior Anja Reese. “I am excited to see how different actors, who a lot of people have in their mind as certain characters, bring different elements of the characters to their roles in Chicago and the different spin that they put on it.”
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Although Reese is a self-proclaimed musical theatre enthusiast, “Hamilton fever” extends beyond just people who enjoy musicals. “Hamilton” fans encompass many people.

“A lot of people…who aren’t really interested in musical theatre have become interested in ‘Hamilton’ and I think that’s because of the style of the music, which is really revolutionary,” Reese said. “It mixes musical theatre with rap and hip hop…it kind of draws people who are typically into mainstream music toward musical theatre because it merges those two genres.”

Allison Hargrove, AP U.S. History teacher and “Hamilton” fan said she has noticed the increasing appreciation for “Hamilton”. According to Hargrove, she was initially surprised by the hype surrounding the musical, but after listening to the soundtrack, she understands why everyone loved it.

“The thing that I think is awesome is that it’s brought attention to someone in America history that was important, someone who was largely ignored, and also caused kids to be engaged in history,” Hargrove said.

One difference between the Chicago rendition of “Hamilton”, is that the production will include a different cast than the original Broadway cast. While Hargrove said she expected the appeal to diminish since creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda no longer would play Hamilton, she was surprised to see people are just as
interested.

Kaya Mernitz, Hamilton fan and senior, said via e-mail, “I was drawn more to the historical aspect…because I love history and the musical does a good job of turning what could be boring colonial history into a story that engages people.”

According to Mernitz, she  bought tickets for the Chicago show because she loves the musical and because tickets were less expensive. Similarly, Reese notes how travel expenses to Chicago are significantly less than those to New York, making Chicago more affordable.

“I definitely recommend the musical, even if you’re not into musical theatre.  I feel so much more connected to the history because I have seen a really cool interpretation,” Reese said. “Give it a listen because it’s a really powerful show and it’ll change your life.”

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