Good theater is entertaining, great theater is transformative.
I've finally seen Hamilton. Hamilton: that musical that you either love, want to see, or hate due to the sheer amount of exposure and praise of it that you've been subjected to. I get it, it's been over 3 years and it still seems like the King (or at least a favored Prince) of Broadway. It's an interesting premise executed in a unique way (especially for a Broadway production), but does it carry itself beyond that?
I'm not going to write a full review of the show -- that's been done and with professional competency -- but I will say why I think it's worth seeing (at least) once.
The music and lyrics of Hamilton are excellent but honestly, I wouldn't say that alone is worth the price of admission. I say that because the album is available to stream from multiple services at a vastly lower cost than a Broadway ticket (any section, any seat. If you don't believe me, price check). That being said, I advise against binging the album repeatedly if you do want to see the show -- there is little to no spoken dialogue in the production so if you know the album than you know the show.
The stage design is something to behold. Two levels and two spinning platforms on the ground floor, the dynamism of the picture is always engaging and changing. It brings a sense of dimension and depth that I've never seen in theater before and that's worth mentioning. Complementing the stage design is the level of energy in the show. It is nonstop -- from the opening number to the final bow, the only breaks in the music are set changes for the next song.
And the subject matter is just cool. Yeah, I said cool -- history is awesome. I was never much interested in History as an academic subject (I'm terrible at remembering dates) but Hamilton ignited a legitimate interest in American history. Although obvious artistic liberties were taken in the writing of a Broadway musical, it gives a respectful level of scale to the struggles and achievements of the American Revolution and its aftermath. I read David McCullough's excellent 1776 after discovering the soundtrack.
So yeah, Hamilton is worth seeing. I was fortunate to receive tickets as a gift but if that price tag is as hurtful to your budget as it is to mine, they run a lottery. Throw your name in the hat because if you get lucky, you won't regret it.