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How Hamilton Remixes History and Show Biz
Thursday, July 16, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.
$45 - Non-Member
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical is returning to the Kennedy Center this summer and Hamilton-mania is sure to again sweep D.C. The enormously popular show, with its crafty lyrics, hip-hop beats, and big, bold story, has even rejuvenated interest in the real lives and true histories that Hamilton: An America Musical puts center stage.
In this lively evening, historian Richard Bell examines this musical phenomenon to reveal what its success tells us about the marriage of history and show business. He investigates what this amazing production gets right—and wrong—about Alexander Hamilton, the American Revolution, and the birth of the United States, and why it all matters. Examine some of the choices Hamilton’s creators made to simplify, dramatize, and humanize the complicated events and stories on which the show is based. Explore Hamilton’s cultural impact and what its runaway success reveals about the stories we tell each other about who we are and the about the nation we made. The program is highlighted by clips from the PBS documentary about the musical.
Bell is a professor of history at the University of Maryland, College Park.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)