By Marjolein van der Heijden and Lotte van Dijck - 19 October 2022
In order to rate the musical, we had six criteria, these were: Storyline, weirdness, tension, inspiring, well thought-out, and funniness. All of these were rated with 1 through 5 stars. On some of these criteria we were on the same page, while on others there was a large difference of opinion between the members.
Short introduction of the story:
The musical shows the entire life of Hamilton, one of the founding fathers, from the moment he arrived in the United States (which was technically not yet the United States at that moment). The first act focuses on Hamilton not throwing away his shot during the revolutionary war against Britain. We see how Hamilton will do anything, including dying, to get a command in the war. You also get an insight in his personal life and how he met and married his wife, Eliza Schuyler. The musical shows how Hamilton works together with his friends to eventually win the war. Moreover, the first act shows the first steps into a lifelong rivalry between Aaron Burr and Hamilton. In the second act Alexander Hamilton is often found in the room where it happens while forming the new nation that is the United States of America. He is chosen by George Washington as Secretary of Treasury in the very first cabinet. Thomas Jefferson is also part of this cabinet as Secretary of State and almost immediately becomes an enemy of Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton works hard to set up a good banking system while fucking up his marriage at the same time (due to cheating, not due to working). Later, the marriage is strengthened again by some common trauma of Hamilton and Eliza. The musical ends when Burr just can't take it anymore and he decides to kill Hamilton in a duel. Some might consider this a spoiler, but it is mentioned in the first song of the musical. Moreover, it is based on historical facts, so in theory everyone could've known this already anyway.
As you have just read the story is quite elaborate, therefore the story about Alexander Hamilton received 4 stars from the members of the Intermania.
Musicals can be considered weird most of the time, and Hamilton is no exception. Musicals always have a lot of songs in them. However, it is rare that the whole musical is narrated in song, which is the case for Hamilton. In addition to this, the genre of song is mainly rap, which is a music genre that was not even invented when the story takes place and is also rather uncommon in musicals. However, we seem to think that in this story it just makes sense somehow, hence the rather low score. This might be due to the lack of experience with musicals for most of the Intermania members.
"I didn't know the American Revolution involved this much singing and dancing." - Intermania Member
Even though the ending is literally mentioned in the first song of the musical, it still got 3,5 stars on our tension scale. Apparently, the story still contains enough intrigue and sensation to watch a three-hour musical, of which you already know how it ends. This is probably due to the high political aspirations of Alexander Hamilton (and his never-ending drive to achieve them), almost cheating, cheating, almost deaths, deaths, and interesting relations between the characters. Even though you already know how it ends, it is still interesting to see what kind of events led to that moment and what motivated the characters to act these ways.
On this category the opinions were rather divided, since a lot of different topics were included in the musical. Some of which can be seen as inspiring and others not. For example, if you look at the academic performance of Alexander Hamilton it could be seen as inspiring. However, when looking at romantic relationships Alexander Hamilton should not be inspiring (he cheated on his wife), unless you have an open relationship of course (which he did not). Additionally, it seems like Alexander Hamilton was sometimes a bit reckless which resulted in his death eventually.
"When you can barely write 1 essay in 5 months (BEP), but Hamilton is able to write 51 in 6 months." - Intermania Member
Well thought out:
The story itself took Lin Manuel Miranda 7 years to write, so it ought to be well-thought out, which it is. This is reflected in the scores we all gave for the musical. The nice thing about the musical is that the major characters have their own tune that comes back throughout the musical. Creating a throughline in the musical, which we find rather clever. Moreover, there are a lot of rhymes that you would've never thought of and quite a large number of puns.
Again, on this front we had some rather mixed feelings. Personally, I do not think it is a super funny musical (this is only the opinion of half of the writers of this article), although there are some parts that made me laugh out loud. One of those moments is the following quote: "Lock up ya daughters and horses, of course It's hard to have intercourse over four sets of corsets". However, there are some heavy themes also addressed in the musical like the loss of a child.
Overall, it seems like the members of Intermania rather liked the musical Hamilton and were surprised that they did not get bored watching a 3-hour long musical. From the reviews however it seems like Hamilton was no one's favorite character, King George's parts were everyone's favourite, understandably. It also seems like some members find that Aaron Burr was treated unfairly as the villain of this story. Overall, everyone agreed that the actors and choreography were very good. This is reflected in the fact that most Intermania members gave this musical 5 stars.
Have you gotten interested in this musical and do you want to watch it yourself? On Disney+ you can find a professional shot of a live performance on Broadway (this is what we watched). One comment that was made by us is that you should maybe not watch it with people that know the lyrics by heart. If you really want to see the musical live, you have to travel to New York and watch it on Broadway or travel to London and watch it on the West End. There is also the option of going to Hamburg, where they recently started performing the first official translation of the musical in German.
Intermate is the study association of the bachelor Technical Innovation Sciences, the majors Sustainable Innovation and Psychology & Technology and the masters Human Technology Interaction and Innovation Sciences.