Out And About: “Hamilton” Raises the Bar

If you want to be in the room where it happens – the room that tells the story of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton – the Music Hall at Fair Park is the place to be.

After all, it took four years for “Hamilton” to make its way from Broadway to Dallas.

Bianca Montes is the Managing Editor at People Newspapers.

“Hamilton” premiered this week through Dallas Summer Musicals and Broadway Across America and will be in town through May 5 – and it indeed raises the bar for modern musicals.

The production tells the story of Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary.

What I really loved about this production – and what I heard from many of those in attendance – is that it is a true musical, meaning that the entire show is either sung or rapped through.

The score blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, and R&B to tell the story. And, yes, we were dancing in our seats and blaring the soundtrack on the drive home.

While the show has beautiful costumes and simple brick-and-wood backdrop, the story, the way it is uniquely cast, and the music are what makes it one of the greatest musicals ever written.

I couldn’t help but walk out of the theater with chills running down my spine as I thought about the fact that history isn’t always as inclusive as it should be; how many of our founding father’s stories are told, but how Hamilton was best known for his misdeeds.

Or, how the great deeds of Hamilton’s wife, Eliza, are often untold.

At the end of “Hamilton,” we learn that she lived until nearly the Civil War and how she impacted our country: her battle against slavery, her founding of New York’s first private orphanage.

Wow!

Another really cool factor about the musical is its unconventional casting of black and Latino actors as the Founding Fathers and other prominent figures.

“Hamilton” does a stellar job of knitting the past up with the present, not only with its multi-racial cast but also with its language and delightful anachronisms.

And let me not forget the foppish monarch King George III who had me rolling in laughter each time he graced us with his presence.

Simply put; it was terrific and set a new bar for musicals everywhere.

Now, while we are on the subject of incredible things; in conjunction with “Hamilton,” there is also a pretty impressive historic document display set up in the lobby at the Music Hall.

From one of Hamilton’s most revealing love letters to Elizabeth Schuyler, calling her “a little sorceress” who bewitched and rendered him “restless and unsatisfied with all about me;” to Dallas Public Library’s original Dunlap broadside print of the Declaration of Independence, the exhibition also tells a pretty remarkable story about America’s history. 

The unique collection of historic documents will be on display, free of charge, through May 5 during regular box office hours and during each “Hamilton” performance.

Tickets for “Hamilton” are on sale now and available at DallasSummerMusicals.org.

“Hamilton” features scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, casting by Telsey + Company, Bethany Knox, CSA, and General Management by Baseline Theatrical.

The musical is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furm, and The Public Theater.

Bianca R. Montes

Bianca Montes is the managing editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People. She curates special sections for People Newspapers like the fall and spring society special sections and 20 Under 40, as well as Faith and Living Well print content, daily web posts, and social media. With a strong background in community journalism, she believes that a city’s arts and entertainment scene is one that should be loved and supported. From luncheons to galas to museum openings and on and off-Broadway revivals, you can find her out and about on Instagram at Bianca_TBD. She also can be reached at [email protected]

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