‘Hamilton’ Review: A Modern-Day History Story


Sara Meadows

“The story of America then, told by America now.” Image courtesy of Omaha Performing Arts.

Although I’ve never been very fond of history or musicals, “Hamilton” changed my perspective on a lot of things the night I saw it at the Orpheum Theater. My own real knowledge before seeing the musical was limited to the fact that it is popular among my generation; and when it first came out it was everywhere, so it was hard to miss. I may be a little behind since this was my first time seeing it, but hey — better late than never. Going into the night, I was a little hesitant on whether I was going to enjoy it or not, but by the end of the first two acts, I was hooked.

The beginning of the musical explains the early life of Alexander Hamilton living in the Caribbean as an orphan. Hamilton’s dad abandoned him at an early age and his mother passed away when he was only 12. As someone who had extreme passion, Hamilton made his way to the American colonies. The musical did an incredible job of going into great detail during this act. For people who do not know much about his background, this part was crucial to better understand the rest of the musical.

The first musical number was “Alexander Hamilton”— this is when I knew it was not going to be a typical musical. Right away I noticed the choice of music, specifically the genre: rap. I thought to myself, “now this is something different.” How could they be so genius in finding a way to tell a historical story, but somehow make it modern and more comprehensible to the younger generation? Maybe if they taught history in this format, I would have received better grades as a kid.

I also noticed they used some popular dances from Tik-Tok, which was surprising to see. It is definitely one way of teaching the younger generation about history and having it stick with them. They still spoke like they were from Revolutionary times, but they snuck in some modern-day phrases that really stood out to the audience and made it comical in some areas.

Another thing that stood out to me was the different races of the actors. With Black Lives Matter coming to the forefront, it was nice to finally see a change in the theater world. Not to mention, Black people often get overlooked as the lead roles in theater, so this made history in the musical industry. The musical did an impressive job of making a big statement with both the actors and musical numbers.

As the musical goes on, Hamilton does not give up on working for a spot at the top to fight in the Revolutionary War. On top of all that, he deals with love, loss and the desire to leave a legacy behind. I highly recommend not missing your shot at seeing this musical. I promise it will change your perspective on American history and the musical industry itself.

“Hamilton” will be at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha until Nov. 14, 2021. Tickets can be purchased online at TicketOmaha.com, in person at Ticket Omaha (12th and Douglas Street) or over the phone at (402)-345-0606.