#triviatuesday : History + Hamilton + HipHop = One Mega Broadway Hit
Four years ago today, August 6, an American Founding Father became a 21st century hip-hop star on Broadway.
That’s when the prestigious Richard Rodgers Theater became the haunt of Alexander Hamilton. (*) To this day Hamilton’s fascinating life and tragic death are portrayed by Broadway’s best in what has become the multi-award-winning production known simply as “Hamilton.”
A mix of hip-hop, history and biography, the show is the brainchild of musical genius Lin-Manuel Miranda, who fell under Hamilton’s spell after reading a biography. (**)
That brings us to today’s TriviaTuesday question:
Who wrote the biography of Alexander Hamilton that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to create “Hamilton”?
Answer: Ron Chernow was the author of the 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton that inspired Miranda. The “800-page tome” chronicled “the rise of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton from poverty to the first Secretary of the Treasury... (**)
“Shortly into reading the book, Miranda had a revelation: The life of Alexander Hamilton had a hip-hop arc to it...by the second chapter, [Miranda] knew the book was his next show...Hamilton, like many hip-hop artists, had a hard childhood...” (**)
“The way Miranda saw it, ‘[Hamilton] literally wrote his way out of his circumstances,’ just like JAY-Z, Eminem, or Lil Wayne. ‘Having had that insight very early while reading Ron Chernow’s book, I never pictured the literal Founding Fathers again,’ ” Miranda said. (**)
The rest is musical history.
(*) The “2019 Chase’s Calendar of Events” available for checkout at MidPointe Library.
(**) “Lin-Manuel Miranda – From Broadway to the Big Screen” by Kristen Rajczak Nelson, published in 2019 by Lucent Press. Available for checkout at MidPointe Library.
If you’re a fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alexander Hamilton (the Founding Father as well as the musical) and biographer Ron Chernow, look no further than MidPointe Library! Go to:
www.midpointelibrary.org > Catalog Search
And don’t forget to check out our voluminous eLibrary of books, audiobooks, magazines, music, movies and TV shows, research databases and more at
www.midpointelibrary.org > eLibrary
Accompanying images from top down:
Portrait of Alexander Hamilton from the front cover of “Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life” by Jeff Wilser. Available for checkout at MidPointe Library.
The Richard Rodgers Theater in New York City
Front cover of “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow. Available for checkout at MidPointe Library.
Front cover of “Lin-Manuel Miranda — From Broadway to the Big Screen” by Kristen Rajczak Nelson. Available for checkout at MidPointe Library.