From Heights to Hamilton – Lauren (@lphilpott1) confesses to @MTASOfficial the story of how she fell hard for the #Hamiltonhype (look out for the puns!)
Last January I went to New York – (the greatest city in the world) and my 17 year old sister had recently discovered this amazing hip-hop/rap musical called Hamilton, and she was in love. When she knew I was going to NY she told me I HAD to look out for posters for it, but surprisingly I didn’t see any! That conversation with her put Hamilton on my radar, but her (very brief) description of it really didn’t make me want to rush to see it. For a long time I thought that because she enjoyed it so much that would mean I’d hate it (we don’t really have all that much in common). After this I kind of forgot about Hamilton until around five months later when I discovered a show that changed my life: In The Heights.
In The Heights was Lin Manuel Miranda’s first major musical and I instantly fell head over heels for it – the music really got me as it was like nothing I’d ever seen before. I saw it quite a lot (15 times…) and when I was there I’d get increasingly annoyed about everyone just going to that show because ‘the guy who wrote Hamilton wrote it’, and people constantly comparing it to Hamilton – this show is incredible in its own rights and I felt people should be there to see it because it’s amazing, not just because of Hamilton. To be honest I couldn’t understand what was so great about Hamilton (ahaha – little did I know what I was missing out on).
I knew that Hamilton tickets were going on sale in January and despite knowing nothing about it I knew I wanted to see it (I’m not throwing away my shot to see the biggest show of the year) so I managed to get tickets for my sister for her 18th birthday (and one for myself of course – I’m gonna be in the room where it happens). I still at this point had never heard any of the songs because I was so obsessed with In The Heights.
But then… In The Heights closed and (drama queen alert) to say I felt lost was a complete understatement – I needed something else to focus on so one day I bought the Hamilton soundtrack and chose somewhere an hour away to drive to just so I could have a listen. I was blasting it in my car and from the very first song I was hooked – it’s awesome, WOW! Lin Manuel is a pure genius and I really couldn’t get enough. It took me a few times of listening to it before I was able to understand the storyline properly, but I really love the music – how all of the songs are so different, yet there is something in them that links them all. The storyline had me hooked; at certain points (I’ll try not to give anything away) I gasped out loud whilst walking along Dover beach and I instantly fell for the hype. It wasn’t long before I was doing what most Hamilton newbies have all done – watching youtube videos of Guns and Ships with lyrics to learn the rap (I’ve smashed it by the way).
It’s now 9 months until I finally get to see this show and I’m ridiculously excited (but I’m willing to wait for it), and meanwhile I’ve got the soundtrack playing at every possible moment. I’ve followed most of the cast on twitter (US and UK), I’ve seriously read up on Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr – most of the characters actually! I now know how America came to be America, who the founding fathers were, how they won the revolutionary war and the most interestingly to me, the Boston Tea Party (why would you waste that much tea guys?!) I think that’s the most impressive thing about this show – it encourages people to read up on history, and I’m sure that’s a much bigger achievement in America. It brings us together and encourages us to have faith in anyone, whether they’re an orphan or an immigrant, black or white, French or American, Burr or Hamilton – people can do amazing things if they have the right amount of determination and support. Click BOOM!