audience is catered to in the fact that they are force fed the plot and are only required to be there to grasp what is occurring on stage. The story of Hamilton is of the founding fathers. They were all resoundingly white. The cast of Hamilton does not represent this. A popular quote from the creator of Hamilton , Lin Manuel Miranda, is, “This is a story about America then, told by America now ,” (Miranda). The United States is one of the most diverse countries in the world. It is actually a melting pot. In traditional musicals, especially ones that depict historic events, the actors are true to their characters. In Les Miserables the story is of the French revolution. In the modern adaption, all the actors are not French but they are white. This makes sense. Diversity is not the goal of musicals. Hamilton breaks that mold though. Many times, in musical theater the different are used to play race specific roles, so by casting traditionally white characters as people of all races, it breaks the rules. In his article Danny Hoch, an actor, writer and director, mentions Hamilton’s cast as a message. The actors are not there to be historically accurate. They are there to illustrate
Gourdine 4 how far America has come (Hoch). A show like Les Miserables , while accurate leaves people out. Not everyone can relate, but Hamilton makes sure everyone is confident in their place in this country because it is everyone’s history, not just a select group. Though Hamilton is based off the book, it does not read like a biography. Alexander Hamilton is not a new topic. Everyone learns about him in US history. However, the musical makes him more real. In Les Miserables the French revolution is not redone. Everyone knows of the atrocities done by the French government. It simply focuses on a love story, and a criminal. It is the specific story told of a set of characters. Though people find sympathy with Jean Val jean’s plight, it is not relatable. Not many people have been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing bread, however many Americans can commiserate with being an immigrant like Hamilton was. Our country is filled with immigrants or children of immigrants who struggled to find a place in America. The characters in Les Miserables are not meant to be relatable. They are dramatic representations of people from revolutionary France. Lin Manuel Miranda said when reading the biography, “I know this guy.” (Miranda). This is because Hamilton is about a hard worker that was smart and resilient. Everyone knows a person who works hard. Hamilton is not a crazy
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