Hamilton Comes to San Francisco

Ashley Kim, Editor-in-Chief

The nationally renowned musical Hamilton: An American Musical has arrived in San Francisco with all the splendor and acclaim it received in New York City and Chicago. A musical about the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton, Hamilton has been incredibly successful, appreciated by critics and fans alike. In 2016, it won numerous awards for its contemporary music and talented cast ‒ including eleven Tony Awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.


Not only is Hamilton critically acclaimed, it is also incredibly popular ‒ with tickets selling almost instantaneously for hundreds of dollars per seat. In the winter, Hamilton opened up their sales for shows in San Francisco. Thousands of people bought tickets online to see one of the most iconic musicals of all time.


Hamilton tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who rose up through the ranks to become General George Washington’s favorite aide-de-camp and his cabinet’s invaluable Treasury-Secretary. Early in the show, Hamilton meets Aaron Burr and their ideological clash drives the entire musical. Hamilton stands up for his beliefs with unpredictable courage, while Burr hides his true opinions to maintain political success. Above all, Hamilton is the story of one man’s quest to prove himself to the world.


The success of Hamilton is partially due to its beautifully written screenplay and music. Lyricist and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda synthesizes rap and hip-hop beats with elements of the traditional musical to showcase a modernity that is uncommon, if not unusual, in most musicals. Miranda essentially created the iconic phenomenon that is Hamilton. Not only did he envision the entire idea of Hamilton, but he also played the lead role when it was first performed in New York City.


In its entirety, Hamilton was poignant and exhilarating with pops of refreshing humor in between. Lin-Manuel Miranda effortlessly created a musical that questions what it truly takes to be successful in a world full of challenges and conflict. Hamilton redefined the world we live in today, proposing relevant questions about loyalty, friendship, and social issues. Ultimately, Hamilton was a complex and brilliant musical that inspired its audience to not throw away their shot.


NOTE: Hamilton: An American Musical stays at the SHN Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco until August 5. You can buy tickets for Hamilton and other musicals at https://www.shnsf.com.