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Theatre Review: Hamilton, A Transformative And Mind-Blowing Theatrical Experience

The internationally acclaimed and much anticipated HAMILTON is now available in Singapore at Sands Theatre and Marina Bay Sands till 9 June 2024.

Weekender is thrilled to be invited to watch this ground-breaking musical, and of course, we are not throwing away our shot.

A Very Different Kind of Musical

For those who are already somewhat familiar with musicals, Hamilton brings a burst of new energy and changes perspectives. If you typically aren’t fond of musicals, this might be the first one to win you over. One of the most lauded and bold aspects of Hamilton is its music, composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, which seamlessly blends hip-hop, R&B, jazz, and traditional Broadway styles. Hamilton’s allure for younger audiences is evident—dope beats were dropped, and epic rap battles skilfully executed. But Hamilton extends well beyond simply infusing modernity into musical theatre. Those with a keen ear may discern that each major character possesses a carefully tailored singing and music style designed uniquely for them.

The Story of A Revolutionary Underclass

“How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore And a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten Spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished, in squalor Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?”

On stage, Alexander Hamilton is a symbol of immigrant inclusiveness, egalitarianism, and meritocracy—values that not only underpin the American success story but are also highly celebrated in Singaporean society.

In contrast to numerous theatrical adaptations derived from fictional sources, Hamilton the musical is based on Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers, and the story closely follows the real events of American history. While it does not take a U.S. history buff to appreciate the show, having some prior historical knowledge might make the viewing experience more resonating.

“Why Alexander Hamilton,” one may ask. “Why not a musical about a more familiar name such as George Washington or Thomas Jefferson?”

If this is the first time you are watching Hamilton, you may find yourself intrigued by the choice of making Alexander Hamilton the main character of the story. The centre of the drama on stage. Despite him being relatively muted in popular narratives of American history. While he may have been relegated to a “side character” role historically, don’t side characters deserve their own narratives too? It is no news that “side characters” often emerge as the most intriguing and multifaceted personalities, and the show further strengthens this point.

Diverse Cast and Dynamic Staging

Perhaps a bold move to challenge the common sentiment that history is mainly written by rich white men. However, Hamilton boasts of a diverse cast, which features actors of colour portraying historical figures that are traditionally depicted by white actors. The performance of Jason Arrow as Alexander Hamilton, Rachelle Ann Go as Eliza Hamilton, DeAundre’ Woods as Aaron Burr, Akina Edmonds as Angelica Schuyler, Darnell Abraham as George Washington, and Brent Hill as King George, etc., impressed us throughout the show.

The dynamic staging and choreography brought boundless energy and excitement to the stage. In addition to the captivating music, the stage design kept us deeply engaged and immersed.

Overall, Hamilton is an innovative work of art that pushes boundaries and challenges conventions. While there is no promise that it will be one’s favourite musical of all time, we feel that it is certainly worth watching and rewatching.

Still wondering why everyone seems to go crazy over this show. Watch and find out for yourself! Tickets are available here. The best seats that are currently available would be on Tuesday, Wednesday evening, and Sunday matinees performances from mid-May to June 2024.

Do note that the show rating is Advisory 16 (Some Mature Content). The recommended age is 8 and above. All children below 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.