With producers hollering huzzahs after the last week’s final workshop presentations of Lin-Manual Miranda‘s Hamilton, the race for next year’s Tony best musical is underway three weeks before this year’s CBS Tonycast. “This was the best workshop of any musical I’ve ever attended,” one mega producer – who’s not producing the show — told me after seeing Friday’s final outing of the monthlong development and buzz-inciting gig. The Broadway-bound musical formerly known as The Hamilton Mixtape, by the prodigiously talented Miranda (best known for the four-Tony winning 2008 In The Heights) — will kick off next January at the nonprofit Public Theater. But with enhancement funds from three top Broadway producers — Jeffrey Seller (Rent), Roy Furman (current Tony nominees After Midnight and Mothers and Sons, among many others) and Sander Jacobs (In The Heights) — you can count on a fast Broadway transfer.
Very exciting stuff! Can’t wait for Hamilton’s debut at the Public Theater (January 20-February 22, 2015)!
From the groundbreaking team behind the Tony Award-winning musical In The Heights comes a wildly inventive new show about the life, death and rhymes of a scrappy young immigrant who forever changed America: Alexander Hamilton. Tony and Grammy Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda takes the stage as the unlikely founding father determined to make his mark on the new nation as hungry and ambitious as he is. From bastard orphan to Washington’s right hand man, rebel to war hero, a loving husband caught in the country’s first sex scandal, the Treasury head who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy, HAMILTON is an astonishing musical exploration of a political mastermind who was both sinner and saint. George Washington, Eliza Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and Hamilton’s lifelong friend/foil Aaron Burr all make their mark in this uproarious, heart-filled new musical. Tony Award nominee Thomas Kail directs Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s breathtaking array of music in this bold new show about taking your shot, speaking your mind and turning the world upside down. HAMILTON is produced with the support of Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, and Jill Furman.
I came across an interesting collection that I wanted to share. Franklin Harvey Head, who penned an extremely influential address on the meaning and goals of liberal arts education in the US, sponsored a prize foundation at Hamilton College that awarded the top student orator for each year a prize for preparing and delivering a speech on Alexander Hamilton. The introduction to the collection states “Mr. Head established the prize called by his name, designating that the subject for this Prize Oration year by year should have reference to the character and career of Alexander Hamilton.” The introduction also notes:
“No name from the rolls of our struggle for independence and our binding together as a nation awakens more intense interest or opens wider fields for consideration than that of Hamilton. From the first appearance of the youthful student, to the tragic hour on the heights of Weehawken, the story has the attraction of romance, and in it can be found the kindling of influences potent not only for then but for all time.”
The thirty-one topics include:
Hamilton as a Constitutional Statesman
The Character and Statesmanship of Hamilton
Hamilton as an Expounder of the Constitution
The Intellectual Rank of Hamilton among his Contemporaries
Hamilton as a Political Prophet
The Relations of Hamilton and Burr
Our Political Indebtedness to Hamilton
Hamilton Compared with His European Contemporaries
The Position of Hamilton in American History
The Career and Character of Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson
The French Revolution and the Political Doctrines of Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton and Salmon P. Chase
Hamilton and Seward as Political Leaders
Alexander Hamilton and Louis Adolphe Thiers
The Death of Hamilton
The Political Doctrines of Hamilton in the Light of Recent American History
Hamilton and the Tariff Question
Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Disraeli
The Political Services of Hamilton and Webster
The Debt of Our Government to Washington and Hamilton
Hamilton and the Presidential Election of 1800
The Military Services of Hamilton
The Verdict of Experience on Hamilton’s Constitutional Theories
Hamilton and the Constitutional Convention of 1787
The Influence of “The Federalist”
Hamilton, Webster, Seward
The Principles that Distinguish Hamilton and Jefferson as Statesmen
Alexander Hamilton and John Adams
Hamilton as a Lawyer
Hamilton and the Code of Honor
Hamilton’s Theory of the United States Senate
The collection of thirty-one prize-winning student oration is interesting for several reasons. First, it offers us a snapshot of what students in the 1864-1895 time period were focused on studying. Second, the range of topics varies from purely historical discussions of particular aspects of Hamilton’s legacy, to discussions of Hamilton in comparison to contemporary political figures. I found the essays comparing Hamilton with contemporary politicians (Disraeli, Thiers, etc) extremely interesting. Those orations offered an insight both into Hamilton and into the political theory of the late 1860s. Keep in mind that these orations were being delivered for the three decades immediately after the Civil War, when the nation was still reeling. Little wonder that students would seek lessons from the Constitutional period for guidance during another time of division and crisis.
1) Computer Sleeves: protect your computer with this stylish Hamilton computer sleeve! The product description states: “Hamilton’s Federalist essay #74 adorns this laptop case. This one-of- a-kind item has images of original 1st edition pages from “The Federalist,” 1788, from my collection. There’s also an 18th century notation attributing the essay to “Gen’l Hamilton” on the right.” This sleeve is available from Zazzle for $27.95.
2) iPad cases: there are several cool cases out there. Here are some of my favorites:
Ham the Man cover from Red Bubble (this one is pretty pricey at $69.23, but I think the design is pretty cool!).
“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” The cover features one of my favorite Hamilton quotations (it’s actually my Gmail signature), and I like the color scheme on this one. The case is available from Cafe Press for $24.99.
Alexander Hamilton: Progress? Interesting design from Cooldesignz Founding Father’s collection, available on Zazzle for $49.95.