Saludos Hispanos

S A L U D O S H I S P A N O S The musical, based on the life of Alexander Hamilton and the early days of American democracy, brilliantly uses rap style music and a young multicultural cast to tell the story. Hamilton is one of our Founding Fathers, but he’s also a guy most of us only know from seeing on the $10 bill. If you paid attention in History class you might remember something about his duel with Aaron Burr. In fact, he is a fascinating character with a very interesting life. With music, Miranda tells the story of how Hamilton came to America, pulled himself out of poverty on the strength of his writing, had a life worthy of a novel, and helped shape the United States at every turn. Among other things, Hamilton was George Washington’s right hand man, a promoter of the Constitution (by writing “The Federalist Papers”), our first Treasury Secretary and the architect of our financial and banking system. He might have been President if not for a scandal that damaged his reputation. His life ended in a dramatic duel. In 2007, while on vacation Miranda read the book “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow, and was inspired. He was drawn into the drama of the biography and realized that that Hamilton’s story was quintessentially “American” and in a way, also paralleled the stories of many of his rap heroes. Hamilton was illegitimate, a penniless orphan, a 15 year old from an island in the British West Indies who somehow managed to get to America because he was able to use his intelligence and writing skills to create a vehicle to escape from poverty. As he was reading, Miranda began to create rap songs in his head that related to the story. That created the initial spark for the musical. Miranda had already achieved much on the Broadway stage, and was well experienced and widely acclaimed, so when inspiration hit he was able to spend 7 years developing his idea to perfection.