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November 28, 2015 6:51 AM   Subscribe

 
HERCULES MULLIGAN A TAILOR SPYING ON THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT
posted by prefpara at 7:21 AM on November 28, 2015 [30 favorites]


I just posted this in the other open Hamilton thread, so apologies for the duplication, but there is an open call for video auditions for the national tour.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 7:21 AM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


sorry not sorry
posted by prefpara at 7:21 AM on November 28, 2015


Never be sorry for HERCULES MULLIGAN.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 7:22 AM on November 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


I hope in 200+ years they're telling our story. WHAT'S YOUR NAME, MAN? BAR-ACK O-BA-MA!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:27 AM on November 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


For any local Hamilfans, the New-York Historical Society currently has a small Hamilton exhibit that ends tomorrow. It has the dueling pistols, and some letters and other documents. One of the letters is from Angelica to her brother, letting him know that General Hamilton has been wounded by "that wretch Burr."
posted by Mavri at 7:40 AM on November 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Thanks for this! It did a really nice job explaining the competing strains of historical hagiography in contemporary context. Hamilton threw me on a bit of a Founding Fathers history kick - I read John Adams and now I am reading Sarah Vowell's new book on Lafayette - both are great.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:57 AM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Probably everyone knows this, but if you visit the Hamilton page and scroll to the bottom, there is a list of the songs from the show. If you click on a song, it is linked into the genius.com comments that describe and link to both many of the historic events and to discussion of the musical influences for each song. I had a really good afternoon listening to music while diving into the history behind the story. I should have been working, but hey.
posted by procrastination at 8:23 AM on November 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


The common thread in all of this is to see the comfort with modernity and cultural pluralism that characterizes the Federalist/Whig vision ...
That sure wasn't the impression I had gotten of the Whigs, but of course I got most of my impression from Schlesinger's The Age of Jackson. What the heck does "cultural pluralism" even mean in 1833?
posted by benito.strauss at 8:24 AM on November 28, 2015


I loved the historiography part of this. I see a lot of "Thomas Jefferson is my problematic fave" on tumblr and I don't think the kids throwing shade at that realize older folks who say that were literally taught a different history in school.

Poor Jefferson is on the outs everywhere, though. The left is down on him for the reasons explained here, and the right hates him too. He cannot catch a historiographical break these days.
posted by immlass at 9:24 AM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


What the heck does "cultural pluralism" even mean in 1833?

That people (white men) other than wealthy landholders get a vote?

The comparison of Hamilton to the Clinton/Obama school of policy is an apt. Progressive is so many ways, but utterly married to the concept of Wall Street and making sure that the wealthiest have the government's support
posted by thecjm at 9:25 AM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I spent the weekend playing Hamilton for my parents and grandma - they all loved it! I'm young, scrappy, and well-fed!
posted by ChuraChura at 10:04 AM on November 28, 2015 [9 favorites]




"'Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'
We fought for these ideals; we shouldn’t settle for less
These are wise words, enterprising men quote 'em
Don’t act surprised, you guys, cuz I wrote 'em"

Check out the four-way internal rhymes in those last two lines (wise/enterprising/surprised/guys). Lin-Manuel Miranda is one of the best lyricists in the history of the American musical. If you haven't heard it yet, his podcast interview with the NY Times's John Caramanica is amazing.
posted by How the runs scored at 11:03 AM on November 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


This is all interesting stuff, but as someone brought up in the UK, I have no grounding in this history. (Or, like, pop culture -- I only found out that Hamilton was a *rap* musical the other day, but knowing that and checking out the lyrics has made me much more interested in it.)

Can anyone point me to a quick primer, please? Should I just read the relevant Wikipedia pages? Is Chernow's book a good read? I'm super interested in 18th century history but so far all I know about happened on this side of the pond.

(One last question -- if Hamilton is a Broadway musical, how come everyone on the internet suddenly seems to know all about it? Is it on Youtube or something? Good job me, admitting my total ignorance in two disparate spheres of knowledge in just one comment.)
posted by daisyk at 11:13 AM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


daisyk, I'm reading the Chernow right now and really like it. Worth a read if you have time.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:18 AM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, Hamilton has been making the rounds since about 2009 in various forms, and played off-Broadway last spring at the Public. And Lin-Manuel's first show In the Heights won four Tony Awards (nominated for thirteen). The "why Hamilton is such a huge hit that everybody knows about it" though, I think, is a little bit social media, a lot of word of mouth.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:21 AM on November 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


(One last question -- if Hamilton is a Broadway musical, how come everyone on the internet suddenly seems to know all about it? Is it on Youtube or something? Good job me, admitting my total ignorance in two disparate spheres of knowledge in just one comment.)


Part of it was that the soundtrack got released early, for free, via the NPR website. But yes, it's on YouTube now.

It also helped that nearly every line of the musical is sung (the one scene not in it is Laurens' death), which means that you can get a sense of the entire thing solely from the soundtrack.
(But just a sense. Seriously, if you live by NYC and/or have the means, go see it. It's everything that people have said it is.)
posted by damayanti at 11:29 AM on November 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen, that video was GREAT, thank you!
posted by daisyk at 11:34 AM on November 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


For any local Hamilfans, the New-York Historical Society currently has a small Hamilton exhibit that ends tomorrow.

Because of this comment, I am at the New-York Historical Society right now. Thank you! The Hamilton exhibit is tiny, but with great stuff.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:37 AM on November 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


Thank you, everyone, for continuing to make Hamilton-related threads here on the blue. I know most of the time people try to keep it all to one, but for me at least I know I will never be satisfied
posted by flatluigi at 1:26 PM on November 28, 2015 [24 favorites]


These threads, they are non-stop.
posted by zachlipton at 1:47 PM on November 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


Not to be too pedantic, but, because it's a Broadway show, we call the recording that was released a "cast recording" or "cast album", rather than a soundtrack. If and/or when they make a movie of it, you can discuss the soundtrack.
posted by hwestiii at 1:58 PM on November 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Lin said this on Twitter yesterday: We raised 4K for @BCEFA with my lil Tony stunt. Any word on what he did?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:07 PM on November 28, 2015


Metafilter: the inherent limits of musical theater as a venue for policy analysis.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:17 PM on November 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


Not to be too pedantic...

No worries, one can never be too pedantic (I do genuinely appreciate the clarification).
posted by el io at 7:02 PM on November 28, 2015


I too hit the NYHS today because of this post, and it was great! I cannot believe they had portraits of Burr and Theodosia gazing at each other across a bust of Hamilton. That sounds fake, but is very real.
posted by peppercorn at 7:06 PM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Theodosia Jr., to be clear.

(And the letter from Angelica mentioned upthread is fabulous.)
posted by ocherdraco at 9:03 PM on November 28, 2015


I am so happy every time we have another Hamilton thread. I just have them all on tabs in the browser to see what else everyone has said.

daisyk, here's my reading list of late:
(a) The Chernow Hamilton
(b) The Duel by John Sedgwick (covers both Hamilton and Burr, even after Ham's death)
(c) Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell (note: I went to hear her speak and the first question asked was about Hamilton)
(d) The Chernow Washington (in progress)
(e) Fawn Brodie's Thomas Jefferson (mentioned by Chernow as his best reference on Jefferson, also in progress)
I'm pondering adding John Adams to the list after the last two giant tomes, but since everyone hates him...maybe? I'll see if my interest in 1700-1800's history keeps lasting enough to go get the David McCullough. Thought about buying it this weekend but eh, that might be a library read.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:00 PM on November 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Is this where I talk about how I spent the last three hours of my post-Thanksgiving drive home listening to Hamilton last night and now I don't know what to do with myself? I am so obsessed.

However, I am also really happy to be alive, because the stretch between "Blow Us Away" and "It's Quiet Uptown" had me crying so hard I almost had to pull off the freeway. Was not expecting that!

The historiopgraphy part is fascinating to me. I majored in history in college and love history, but have never, ever been very interested in the Founding Fathers. What Lin-Manuel Miranda did to make these crusty old white men exciting and current is pretty impressive.

HERCULES MULLIGAN!
posted by lunasol at 7:46 AM on November 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


This is a great interview with Philippa Soo and Lea Salonga about Asian women on Broadway.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:46 AM on November 29, 2015 [3 favorites]




No seriously, I had a long list of things to do today but instead I've been reading every thinkpiece written about this (thanks for all the links!) and looking and #parksandham memes and pricing tickets to NYC for September when non-premium tickets are finally available and trying not to listen to every song so much I get sick of it.
posted by lunasol at 11:09 AM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


hello everyone, nice to see you once more at our weekly Hamilton discussion.

I like that interview, ChuraChura.

If y'all like books-turned-into-musicals featuring Phillipa Soo as a deceptively strong ingenue in a 19th-century setting with anachronistic details and dueling as a major plot point, you should check out the excellent Natasha Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. It's based on part of War & Peace and Soo's the lead - she plays a young woman who gets swept up into an affair while waiting in Moscow for her fiancé to return from the war.

The whole cast recording is on Spotify and YouTube. You can watch her perform one of her early songs here.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:54 PM on November 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Alex Lacamoire, the man behind the Hamilton sound.
posted by Mavri at 8:03 AM on November 30, 2015


Ever since hearing "Your Obedient Servant" when Hamilton signs his letters as "A dot Ham", I've kinda wanted Greg Nog to make a puppet show in the style of "Hamibal" called "Hamiburr". Someone get him on this!
posted by Green With You at 10:06 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


If y'all like books-turned-into-musicals featuring Phillipa Soo as a deceptively strong ingenue in a 19th-century setting with anachronistic details and dueling as a major plot point, you should check out the excellent Natasha Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. It's based on part of War & Peace and Soo's the lead - she plays a young woman who gets swept up into an affair while waiting in Moscow for her fiancé to return from the war.

That's where Lin-Manuel Miranda and the producers first saw her!

And coincidentally, an hour long conversation between Thomas Kail (director of Hamilton) and Rachel Chavkin (director of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812) just dropped.

Also, man, I sort of really want to catch a Javilton performance now. But that's a lot of extra dough.
posted by kmz at 2:18 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]




"The audience exploded into applause. We were screaming. We were crying. I was spent; It was like America had taken physical form and made three hours of crazed, carefully-researched love to me. The stage lights returned for the cast to take their bows, shiny with sweat and the sheen of revolutionary theater. People applauded until their hands were bloody and ruined; I saw bone poking through the palms of the older woman next to me."
posted by Mavri at 7:53 AM on December 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


Um, go to Twitter and type in #Force4Ham. It's the greatest.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:01 AM on December 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


IT’S NO FUN TO HAVE A BULLET IN YOUR ABDOMEN,
THIS WAS THE STORY OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON.


dying laughing, Marvi.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:33 AM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I died.
posted by lunasol at 12:34 PM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Are you ready for some Hamilton tweets?
posted by jeather at 12:44 PM on December 1, 2015


So I was idly grazing through the thread, saw damayanti's link to the youtube playlist, and thought to myself, "This has been all over tumblr for a while now, I suppose I ought to see what the fuss is about".

By the second song it had my total attention. At the end of the first half my fingers had bought the album without my conscious intervention. Also, I appear to be in love with the Marquis de Lafayette. It is that good.
posted by Mrs. Davros at 2:16 PM on December 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


HERCULES MULLIGAN
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:12 PM on December 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


HERCULES MULLIGAN's rap in Yorktown is seriously one of my favorite things ever.

Even more, I love that this show has both "When you knock me down, I get the fuck back up again" AND "Wait for It" and "Burn." Ahhhhh, it's so good I can't handle it.
posted by lunasol at 5:15 AM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I think it's sort of better that I'll probably never be able to see Hamilton live because I doubt my ability to stay in my seat during HERCULES MULLIGAN's rap and not stand up and yell, "FUCK YEAH!!!!" because that's basically what I do whenever I hear it. And that would be embarrassing.

We were listening to the cast album in the car on the way to Thanksgiving dinner and I started sobbing during "Dear Theodosia." We have newborn son and he shines brighter than the sun and pride ISN'T the word I'm looking for and his smile undoes me and my father wasn't around and OMG. "Theodosia" is now my trigger word to render me a sobbing heap.
posted by Aquifer at 7:56 PM on December 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Gift ideas!
posted by jeather at 8:05 AM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Might go get myself Aaron Burr underpants.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:32 AM on December 3, 2015


An amazing Every Day Should Be Saturday open thread writeup. Specifically targeted to that college football/musicals crossover demographic.
posted by kmz at 2:44 PM on December 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hamilton Chicago announced!!!

(The article is sort of weird. Does Jefferson even say "wassup"?? Makes it sound like a Budweiser commerical or something. And "In The Heights" is not "based on his own youth" either. But whatever.)

I wonder what this means in terms of a touring company?
posted by kmz at 9:16 AM on December 8, 2015


There's now some more specific information about how the Chicago production is going to effect a tour. It looks like it (and the not officially announced yet west coast production) are delaying the start of a more traditional tour.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 8:03 AM on December 10, 2015


Hamilton takes over Jeopardy.
posted by lunasol at 10:48 AM on December 10, 2015


Hamilton Lyrics to Sing to my Dog

(and, if I may draw your attention to the comments, I am particularly proud of my ode to my stupid terrible cat Triceratops, which begins:

How does a barn cat, orphan, covered in fleas with a runny nose
Dropped in the middle of Ohio, by providence impoverished, in squalor,
Grow up to be a lap cat and a purrer?

The 10 pounder, furry cat wearing a collar,
Got a lot fatter by stealing from my larder.
By being a lot cuter
By being a lot nicer
By 8 weeks, they'd placed her inside of my apartment.)
posted by ChuraChura at 12:03 PM on December 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


My cat's name has the same amount of syllables as Alexander so he hears a lot of things like

AARON COPLAND HAMILTON
we are feeding all these treats to you

and

Get off the counter, Aaron Copland
that's an order from your commander
posted by everybody had matching towels at 12:21 PM on December 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


Why do you eat like you’re running out of food?
Eat day and night like you’re running out of food?
Ev’ry day you eat, like you’re running out of food


These are all so very accurate in terms of puppy parenthood.
posted by lunasol at 1:02 PM on December 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also, this tag: "INTENTIONAL CHOICE TO BARELY USE THE SECOND HALF OF THE SHOW BC THAT SHIT'S TOO SAD"

So true. Yesterday I realized that I almost never listen past Cabinet Battle #1, so I was like "let's try this, I can handle it."

I cannot handle it.
posted by lunasol at 1:06 PM on December 10, 2015


Billboard Magazine lists the Hamilton cast album as 2nd-best album of the year.
posted by suelac at 10:38 AM on December 16, 2015


The Case for Hamilton as Album of the Year:

"But Hamilton wants to do everything: entertain, inform, be the biggest thing on the planet. The fact that it succeeds, I would argue, justifies its intrinsic dorkiness. After all, the show itself is a monument to overachievement and old-fashioned ambition. The answer to the opening question—“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?”—is, basically “relentless labor.” The American Dream in platonic form, no? The narrator Aaron Burr may be just as brilliant as Hamilton, but he’s reserved, cool, waiting for the right moment to make a move. Hamilton makes moves constantly and proclaims his ambitions openly, and that’s why he’s the hero—he’s breaking with decorum to achieve something great.

Hamilton’s music follows its main character’s lead, trying hard to max out on both quantity and quality. You don’t just happen into songs with hooks this gemlike, intertwining elements this complex, or arrangements that so perfectly strike the magic balance of familiarity and novelty. Nor is there any accident to the fact that the diversity of sounds here makes it so you never feel lost within the two-and-a-half hours of the production. Each and every line has been carefully sculpted so that you can hear new bits of cleverness in them each time you listen. And, perhaps most importantly, the emotional machinery just works ... [spoilers redacted]*"


Yes, I realize that there are no real spoilers in a play about someone who died 200+ years ago, but there's some stuff in Act II that I think most of us didn't know and that provides a real emotional jolt. So I cut it on the off-chance that someone who hasn't listened to the whole album/seen the play is still following this thread.
posted by lunasol at 8:29 AM on December 19, 2015


I am so obsessed with this. This takes me back to the time when I first heard the London cast of Les Miserables and went on a Hugo kick, because I'm about to order some biographies pretty darn quick. My SO works from home and every once in a while I startle him by bursting out, "My name is Alexander Hamilton."
posted by angrycat at 6:06 AM on December 22, 2015


My cat Frank gets "Catexander Frankenton" sang at him a lot these days.

The Chernow biography is great. I have kind of a block with historical tomes even though I'm a big reader, but I'm ripping through this one like a page-turner.
posted by matildaben at 1:26 PM on December 22, 2015


Yeah, shoutouts to everyone else who's getting the Chernow biography for Christmas because I bet those are just flying off the shelves right now.
posted by flatluigi at 7:07 PM on December 22, 2015


My friend texted me last night that she's naming her new puppy Hamilton and I texted back "YES. YOU HAVE TO. AND THEN TWEET AT LIN MANUEL ABOUT IT. Because your puppy is like his country, young, scrappy, and hungry." And then I got excited because I've been telling her to listen to Hamilton and she did! And then she texted me back and told me the idea came from our mutual friend who is my one other friend who is obsessed with Hamilton.

The Chernow biography is great. I have kind of a block with historical tomes even though I'm a big reader, but I'm ripping through this one like a page-turner.

Saaaame.
posted by lunasol at 9:00 PM on December 22, 2015


So continuing my giant historical biography reading list: I finished the Brodie, read Gore Vidal's Burr, and am now on to the McCullough I mentioned, having just snagged it from a library. So far, not bad!

Since I highly doubt there's much in the way of Laurens or HERCULES MULLIGAN* biographies to read, that leaves me with....Madison. Is it worth it to try to dig up a biography of him? Are there any gold standards of such on the topic? I dunno if I want to or not, since (a) these books I've been reading are freaking huge, and (b) Madison seems like such a ... toady.

* anyone know what happened to him IRL?
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:17 PM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


* anyone know what happened to him IRL?

I read an interview with the guy who plays him in the show and he said that he would really love to be able to travel back in time and ask him just that, because apparently he just disappeared from the historical record after the war. I guess he went back to being a tailor (not spying on the British government) .
posted by lunasol at 6:54 AM on December 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


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