Sunday, September 24, 2017

Expose yourself to "Hamilton" at your peril

By now you will have heard the buzz about the Broadway show “Hamilton,” and asked yourself the obvious—why such a boring name? For a Broadway juggernaut, it sure sounds like a paint company. 

I suppose it was better than calling it the altogether too informal “Alex!” Given the inevitably grim ending (you do know your history, right?), I guess they could have called the show “Mort!” But that would assume that a lot more people understand French than probably do. 

It is true that Broadway has previously had one-word hits named after people. “Mame” comes to mind. Who knew a show about President Eisenhower’s wife could be so compelling?  “Gypsy” brought to audiences a newfound respect for an obscure type of moth. “Annie” showcased the darker side of Helen Keller’s famed mentor through the medium of tap dance. And “Fiorello!” and “Oliver!” taught us the difference punctuation can make between failure and success. 

“Hamilton” has broken all records, but just imagine if it had been “Hamilton?” Or even “#Hamilton$”. Not only might it have made even more money, it would have been a pretty solid password.

“Hamilton” the show, like the founding father himself, is known for its brilliance with words. A sample lyric: “A bunch of revolutionary manumission abolitionists? Give me a position, show me where the ammunition is!” 

It is sort of like Gilbert and Sullivan, if their three little maids from school were not “filled to the brim with girlish glee” but were in fact itching to bust a cap in some Redcoats.

A year or two ago, the lyrics of “Hamilton” spread like a wordy virus through my friends. Being a former theater major, I willingly contracted it from my actress friend Susannah, then passed it on to my wife and my coworkers. Soon we became insufferable. 

You know the kind of people who, if you happen to say something about truth, say "You can't handle the truth"? That is us, only in revolutionary-war-themed rhyme. 

I cannot in good conscience recommend you expose yourself to this addiction. Otherwise you will soon find yourself ejecting a CD and sobbing in your car in the employee parking lot. 

"Are you O.K.?" your coworker will ask, seeing your puffy eyes.

"Hamilton," you will rasp. 

It is too late for me. Consider this a warning from a friend. 

. . .


  1. I am currently wearing a t-shirt that says "My thoughts have been replaced by Hamilton lyrics." Boom!

    1. lol, yes, all anyone has to unwittingly say at work is "wait for it" or "one last time" and I am screwed for the rest of the day.