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What is the big deal about ‘Hamilton’? 5 facts to know before you see the show

Entertainment

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A touring production of “Hamilton,” the famed Broadway musical that has generated billions of dollars from its hip-hop telling of political history, is coming to the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts in Greensboro on April 6-24.

Maybe you know all about the show and why there is so much hubbub surrounding this musical. Or maybe you don’t know anything at all. Maybe Alexander Hamilton is one of those vague names of history you perhaps shoved out of your mind after high school.

No matter, the show has become a cultural and artistic phenomenon for its creativity and its unique presentation of that chapter of history. Here are five things you may find interesting about all of that

1. The history about history

Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a hip-hop version of the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, who is the guy on a $10 bill. He also was the first secretary of the Treasury and helped to establish the first banks and form economic policy. His political positions were opposite those of former President Thomas Jefferson, and their disagreements helped shape political discourse – and party alignment – that continue today. Miranda’s production opened on Broadway in 2015.

2. This show goes on

Miranda was the composer, lyricist and playwright, and the show includes 46 original pieces (including reprisals).  Yes, the show has a hip-hop flavor, and the song “Alexander Hamilton” has been its most-heard song as tracked by Spotify. The numbers of listens are in the hundreds of millions. The musical also became a movie streamed by Disney Plus, and its original production won 11 Tony Awards in 2016, including Best Musical and best original score and book for Miranda.

3. How many Hamiltons did it earn?

Forbes reported that “Hamilton” surpassed $1 billion in total revenue, including the movie, albums, merchandise and performances both in New York and in various touring companies. But in pre pandemic accounting, the show ranked “only” sixth on the highest-grossing Broadway musicals, behind some you would guess (“The Lion King” and “The Phantom of the Opera”) but also behind “Wicked,” “Chicago” and “Book of Mormon.” Some of those have benefitted from being staged for decades, and some have seen high revenues because their ticket prices were much higher. Tickets for performances of “Hamilton” on Broadway, by the way, range up to $500 for premium seats. The cheapest are $149, based on prices listed at Broadway.com.

4. And now to Greensboro

As of last summer, Broadway World had reported that 2.6 million people had seen “Hamilton” on Broadway alone. The show, which has played in both Charlotte and Durham, currently is being staged in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. But there are 49 stops scheduled through May 2023, and Greensboro is No. 23 on that list, which later will include Charlotte and Durham again. Tickets in Greensboro will cost between $49 and $199.

5. The closing act

The life of Alexander Hamilton – and thus the musical – culminates in Hamilton’s famed duel with former Vice President Aaron Burr. If you’ve forgotten your history, these two political opponents — their rivalry was complicated — squared off with single-shot dueling pistols in July of 1804. Hamilton fired and missed, but Burr’s shot struck Hamilton, who died the next day. He was 47.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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