Twitter Explained | Should the Hype for Hamilton Be Real?

By | Jul 03, 2020
Arts & Culture, Latest

Early this morning, at 3 AM EST, the Hamilton movie dropped on Disney+. This isn’t some run of the mill one-shot recording of a live performance in the Richard Rogers Theater. This was a-made-for-the-big-screen (but then early released to our small screens because of COVID-19 movie theater closures) movie starring the original Broadway cast. 

And let me tell you, the hype was real. In the days leading up to the film’s release, fans were nearly jumping out of their tweets at the thought of soon being able to endlessly stream one of the most beloved musicals of our time.

The hype even had some of the original cast and crew reminiscing about the beginning of live performances nearly five years ago and sharing some never before seen footage of the movie’s filming.

And it seems like the #Hamilfilm drop did not disappoint. Both fans who’ve seen and haven’t seen the live Broadway performance were up in the wee hours of the day getting the first tastes of Lin-Manuel Miranda in all of his Alexander Hamilton glory.

But, since we’re #blessed to live in this uber-politically polarized year of 2020, it didn’t take much scrolling to find the discussion about whether we really should be celebrating the Hamilton release if it’s just another glorification of the problematic founding fathers.

Conversations like these about the founding fathers are worth having, especially in this moment of reckoning with the racism embedded in our society and institutions. But, as some of the more thoughtful Twitter users pointed out, discussions about Hamilton must be nuanced in order to do any justice to the topic at hand. After all, Hamilton wasn’t just any show about the American Revolution, it was an unprecedented production that opened endless doors for people of color on Broadway.

There’s no doubt that Hamilton will become part of larger conversations rethinking depictions of the founding fathers, right alongside the statues and history books that society is beginning to pick apart in an attempt to rectify America’s long history of racial injustices. But today, on what Twitter has ordained Hamilton Day, people seem to be taking a moment to just enjoy the show for it’s groundbreaking, once in a lifetime artfulness, appreciating how lucky we are to be alive right now. 

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