A Raving, Rhyming Review of Broadway’s ‘Hamilton’

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Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Hamilton' has taken Broadway by a hip-hop-infused historical storm, and one writer was so inspired, he wrote a rhyming review of it. (showhelpme.com photo)
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Hamilton’ has taken Broadway by a hip-hop-infused historical storm, and one writer was so inspired, he wrote a rhyming review of it. (showhelpme.com photo)

What goes together like cheese and macaroni?
Rap and history in a show that will surely win the Tony.
You might think they don’t mix, but in “Hamilton” they match
It goes beneath the surface, and it doesn’t just scratch.

It’s not Christmas, but it comes like a gift from Santa
Written by and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda
You’ll want tap your feet, and it’ll be hard to stay still
It’s Miranda who should get some time on the $10 bill.

“In the Heights” was an appetizer, here we see his evolution
The main course starting with the American Revolution
Though long ago, the themes still resonate
Like battling with Congress and the power of those who immigrate.

The rhymes are captivating, salivating you will find
If students had class like this, no child would be left behind
“Hamilton” is hot, and Aaron is Burr
The diverse cast hits a home run, you will surely conquer.

The performers rap and sing well, showing versatility
Don’t seem to need a breath because they have the agility,
They annunciate clearly; you always get the meaning
The show opens with its best song, you get the proper greeting

To “Alexander Hamilton,” about an orphan born out of wedlock
Who went on an expected trek that was stranger than Mr. Spock
You’ll be all ears as he’s first secretary of the treasury
Writing essays ’round the clock didn’t make time for much leisure, see

(kentucky.com photo)
Christopher Jackson as George Washington. (kentucky.com photo)

Miranda mesmerizes as the foundation, and the other actors riff well
Never whiff, they jell, as they tell a story that could be a hard sell.
Christopher Jackson’s George Washington is imposing like Dwight Gooden
No cherry tree; his voice is golden, and his teeth are not wooden.

You’ll dig Daveed Diggs, who as the situation gets grave
Performs so well it’s like ecstasy someone had at a rave
He spits fire, the extinguisher you can forget
But not his portrayal of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette.

He is sometimes like Prince and sometimes rhymes like Busta
Hamilton confides in some men, but there’s a broken trust, a
Secret to tell, it’s OK to tattle
Diggs and Miranda have two rap battles

As Jefferson and Hamilton, one of them tramples
To whet your appetite, here’s a quick sample.
For when Hamilton thinks Jeff’s veggin’ out, and he gets meaty
Saying they don’t have to honor France and gives him a verbal beating.

“We signed a treaty with a king whose head is now in a basket
Would you like to take it out and ask it?
Should we honor our treaty King Louis’ head?
‘Ah do what you want, I’m super dead’”

Jefferson quips, “He knows nothing of loyalty
Dresses like new money, smells of fake royalty.”
The musical runs deep, my overflow your think tank
Make you jealous, drop your pencil and leave the page blank.

(newyorktheater.me photo)
Jonathan Groff as King George. (newyorktheater.me photo)

Men back then fought duels, they were not chickens
Here’s a look at the basic plot before it thickens
Hamilton starts poor, but then he has a master plan
Marry a pretty rich girl and become Washington’s right-hand man.

Alex and Burr start as friends but then becomes foes
As Burr beats Alex’s dad-in-law in a race, steps on his toes
Burr wants Hamilton’s endorsement when he’s up against Thomas
And Burr gets angry later when there is a broken promise.

Before that Alex falls for temptation
Gives in, even though there is some hesitation
He sleeps with Maria Reynolds but then makes it a wrap
When her husband extorts and knows he fell in a trap.

He comes up with a way for a very strong financial system
Whenever down, wants to rebound like Rodman, when he was a Piston.
Where he gets a brief command and always wants to fight more
A founding father who lets his blood and sweat pour.

Makes “The Book of Mormon” look like it’s a bore, man
Like maybe it was written by a guy named Norman
Any attempt to best this, you’ll just be lost ashore, man
Every actor in “Hamilton” will soon have a doorman.

Though his role is small, Jonathan Groff’s impact is big, I must say
As King George, who treats America like a lover who has run away.
Sings “You’ll Be Back” in the comedic song of the show
While singing “Da da da dat da da” and has the perfect flow.

As Maria, Jasmine Cephas Jones belts the romance like a full moon
I’d buy her whole CD, not just a single on iTunes
As Burr, Leslie Odom Jr.’s a star, and he mashed it, man
He’s Hollywood but doesn’t need a Kardashian.

Phillipa Soo, Renee Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine-Cephas-Jones. (newyorktheater.me photo)
Phillipa Soo (as Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton), Renee Elise Goldsberry (Angelica Schuyler Church) and Jasmine Cephas Jones (Maria Reynolds). (newyorktheater.me photo)

Renee Elise Goldsberry is angelic as Angelica
As Eliza, the voice of Phillipa Soo is like fondue and not a replica
Hamilton was born on the island called Nevis
There’s no flaw in the show unless you’re Butt-Head or Beavis.

It doesn’t matter if you are black or white, what matters is if you’re damn good,
The show’s at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, not “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.”
There’s some make believe, but a lot is based on facts and smooth
In Act II “The Room Where It Happens” is a song with a silky groove.

You’ll want to slurp it up like a Slurpee from 7-Eleven
Costumes will make you feel like it’s 1787
There’s a reason why so many people are talking
About the play where a father and son were killed in Weehawken

“My Shot” is a fierce song that makes you want to throw down fast
Okieriete Onaodowan is a clever James Madison who rounds out the cast
Some shows are caca, attempts to get tix to this will be cacophonic
Cause Miranda’s used his rights to make an arresting show that is iconic.

The musical tips the difficulty scale with speedy diction that could make one miss
And cause everything to domino and make an audience hiss
But the show’s intoxication you can lose your equilibrium
If you can’t get tix yet, don’t worry, the show should go for 10 years, minimum.

Alex, the great writer who founded the post
Put his gun, fired up while a bullet made him toast.
“Hamilton” best thing since sliced bread? Yeah, but I’m gluten-free.
It’d be worth it to get shot to have a show like this written ’bout me.

Hamilton” is open now at the Richard Rodgers Theatre (226 W. 46th St.) in New York.

Alan Zeitlin is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.

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