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Film Review: Hamilton the Musical Increased Diversity on Broadway

BY REAGAN GOLDBERG, BLOGGER

Hamilton fanatics no longer have to “Wait For It,”to visit a city near them as the Broadway hit has finally been released on Disney+ and has already taken social media by storm. 

The most common trend across all social media platforms is people complaining about how Hamilton isn’t historically accurate and how it doesn’t accurately portray the founding fathers. On the contrary, many people are praising  Hamilton for its incredibly diverse cast. 

Hamilton uniquely portrays the founding fathers through actors from a variety of different cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and has been a frontrunner in increasing diversity on Broadway. 

During the 2016 Tony Awards 14 out of the 40 nominations for Broadway performance went to actors of color, and of those 14 wins, 7 went to Hamilton actors. In the past, Broadway has typically struggled to represent actors from diverse backgrounds, according to a 2015 study which  found that only 35% of all roles went to minority actors, which was up from 30% from the previous season

The 2015-16 Broadway season was the most diverse group up until that point, and  was also the same season Hamilton made its Broadway debut. Hamilton has helped with increasing diversity on Broadway stages and not enough people recognize that. Lin-Manuel Miranda has helped with Broadway diversity and it is time that people start appreciating and recognizing that. Broadway still has a long way to go to increase diversity, however, it is a step in the right direction.

Photo from Theo Wargo at Getty Images via Google Images

There is still controversy surrounding the show, though. Fans are now taking to social media to point out all of the historical inaccuracies throughout the musical. Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda said he first was inspired to write the musical after reading the biography Alexander Hamilton by Ron Cherow on a vacation. However, the musical is only three hours long and that is not enough time to fit the entirety of Hamilton’s life and despite his efforts, Miranda’s adaptation naturally had to twist, turn, erase and invent a few plot points in order to make his musical engaging for a wide audience. 

Miranda has also gone as far as to respond to tweets regarding the liberties taken by saying, “All the criticisms are valid. The sheer tonnage of complexities & failings of these people I couldn’t get. Or wrestled with but cut. I took 6 years and fit as much as I could in a 2.5 hour musical. Did my best. It’s all fair game.” 

Yes, Hamilton contains historical inaccuracies, but it has also encouraged people to do more research and learn more about the history of our founding fathers. 

Overall, Hamilton has done wonders for the Broadway community. It has given recognition to people of color and has helped improve diversity on some of the oldest stages in New York. Hamilton has truly revolutionized Broadway and will be an example for other playwrights for years to come.

Photo from Oprah Magazine via Google Images

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