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History Extra podcast

Hamilton: the man behind the musical

46:38 | Jan 4th, 2018

2 echoes
We explore the amazing life story of Alexander Hamilton, with Ron Chernow, whose biography of the American Founding Father inspired the hip-hop musical sensation.

epekilisMar 16th, 2018

The creative interplay is fascinating between Chernow, the historian who wrote “Alexander Hamilton” and Lin-Manuel Miranda in creating The musical. Hip hop poetry “leapt off the page” for Miranda as he read—it’s the poetry of outsiders.

alicekoJul 7th

@epekilis Can’t wait to listen to this one!! Did you read the book!

epekilisJul 7th

@aliceko I actually have not read the history by Ron Chernow. It’s definitely on my list. I have read the annotated libretto by Miranda, which is quite fascinating. It gives a lot of insight into his approach. He is serious about the history, but has an equally serious approach to stagecraft. He put a LOT of thought into the actual structure of the play.

alicekoJul 8th

@epekilis Where is the annotated libretto? I would love to read that. Have you actually watched Hamilton? I’m looking for someone to geek out about the musical with! Oh - I put together a Hamilton podcast playlist too, added this episode to it. Check it out on my profile!

epekilisJul 8th

@aliceko Don’t know if you are in Toronto, but here’s a link to the book in the Toronto Public Library system: Warning - i found the electronic format difficult to read, and wound up getting the hard copy (also from the library). If you want to buy it and you use the link to the library system, the public library gets an affiliate fee from the online bookstore, so I try to buy books that way. Your choice, of course, but just letting you know that the public library benefits from an affiliate program if that is of any interest to you. You need to meet my daughter! She has memorized all 48 songs in Hamilton. We pay Hamilton trivia over dinner. We took her to see Hamilton in Buffalo last winter. It was just as good as you imagined. It’s coming to Toronto next season but I think you had to be a season ticket holder to get first crack at tickets. Maybe a few months in I’ll try to get tickets to see it again.

alicekoJul 9th

@epekilis Thank you SO much! I found this book at my local library in Vancouver!! I can't wait to read it - thanks again. I've seen Hamilton twice in NYC (worth every penny) and I was hoping to view the Toronto production. Thanks for the heads up re: tickets. Let me know if you up getting tickets!

epekilisJul 10th

@aliceko we are on a road trip, 2 teens in the backseat blasting Hamilton. Just heard the line “Sir, don’t know what you heard. But whatever it was, Jefferson started it” jump out at me. So much character is built into that one line. The animosity with J, of course, but more importantly the completely adolescent approach to conflict and the puppy like deference to the father figure Washington. Hamilton is such a difficult character but it so hard not to like him. Miranda is such a genius.

alicekoJul 10th

@epekilis It's my dream to be on a road trip blasting Hamilton! Each character has SO much depth! Have you checked out the lyrics on genius? Also - check out the Hamilton podcast list I built, let me know if anything is missing :)!)-

epekilisJul 10th

@aliceko SQUEEEEEAL a Hamilton podcast list!!!! I will start working through it!

alicekoJul 26th

@epekilis I got the book!!!!

epekilisJul 26th

@aliceko Enjoy!

alicekoAug 12th

@epekilis Ellen, I just finished the book. It exceeded my expectations in every single way. THANK YOU SO MUCH for telling me about it.

epekilisAug 15th

@aliceko Glad you enjoyed. I found it really took my understanding of the depth, structure and richness of the text to a whole different level. It made me realize that Miranda isn’t just an enormously talented musical theatre writer, but an enormously skilled one too, which is kind of a different thing.

alicekoAug 16th

@epekilis Ellen, thank you so much for the recommendation. I didn't think that my awe and appreciation of Lin or Hamilton could be any greater, but the libretto took my breath away. I appreciated all the interviews, footnotes to the songs, photos, and especially the dialogue about the greater theme of the story, that being 'legacy' and what kind of legacy does one want to leave on this earth? Also, a legacy is not just about the legacy that WE leave, but how other people continue that legacy. Chills!