Hamilton: How the Musical Remixes American History with Richard Bell

Hamilton: How the Musical Remixes American History with Richard Bell


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Join historian Rick Bell as we talk about all things Hamilton and History. We’ll discuss how this juggernaut show treats the Revolution, democracy, race and slavery, and what it tells us about how history is made and who gets to make it in America.
Even in lockdown, America has Hamilton-mania. With Disney+ streaming the show this summer, everyone’s talking about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical. Its crafty lyrics, hip-hop tunes, and big, bold story have even rejuvenated interest in the real lives and true histories that Hamilton: the Musical puts center stage. 
In this seminar, which is aimed at people who know the soundtrack or who’ve seen the show, University of Maryland historian Dr. Richard Bell explores this musical phenomenon to reveal what its success tells us about the marriage of history and show-business. We’ll learn what this amazing musical gets right and gets wrong about Alexander Hamilton, the American Revolution, and the birth of the United States and about why all that matters. We will 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. We will also talk about Hamilton’s cultural impact: what does its runaway success reveal about the stories we tell each other about who we are and about the nation we made?
Photo credit: Smithsonian Art Inventory Catalog, IAP 08930129

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 53 reviews
92%
(49)
6%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
2%
(1)
N
Norma Rossi (East Brunswick, US)
Great Lecture

It was interesting, clear and to the point. I learned something new. The clips of the musical cleared up the points made. Thank you

S
Suzette Shelmire (Oxford, US)
Hamilton

Dr. Bell was most enlightening telling us about the truths and what was false in the show. I don't think you can make a show 2 hours long and tell everything.Besides the "everything" would just slow down all that action. I am a fan of the real Alexander Hamilton by Chernow and having Lin Manuel Miranda find in him - a reason to make a wonderful theatrical event made my heart glad! I will add though, that "rap" was a common event that Gilbert and Sullivan started a very long time ago. So I can't give "rap" the credit that those who are not familiar with G and S seem to give it! By the way we called it "patter".

M
Maureen Keller (Indianapolis, US)
Engaging info, even for the most dedicated Hamilton Fans

As a dedicated Hamilton fan, I have participated in/listened to/read many sessions about him. Yet, I still learned so many things from Dr. Bell's session on "Hamilton: How the Musical Remixes American History". As a fellow college educator, I also learned tips in engaging the audience throughout the session via an organized approach. So, I feel like it was a win-win for me.

B
Barbara Hill (Stroudsburg, US)
Hip Hop Hamilton

Dr. Bell clearly liked the musical “Hamilton,” but he also had questions to discuss about how accurate the history was in the show. If you’re planning to see “Hamilton,” this is a good lecture to hear before you go. If you’ve already seen “Hamilton,” Dr. Bell will give you a renewed appreciation for what Lin-Manuel Miranda accomplished.

S
Susan Meadows (Fremont, US)

Guest did not leave comment

Customer Reviews

Based on 53 reviews
92%
(49)
6%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
2%
(1)
N
Norma Rossi (East Brunswick, US)
Great Lecture

It was interesting, clear and to the point. I learned something new. The clips of the musical cleared up the points made. Thank you

S
Suzette Shelmire (Oxford, US)
Hamilton

Dr. Bell was most enlightening telling us about the truths and what was false in the show. I don't think you can make a show 2 hours long and tell everything.Besides the "everything" would just slow down all that action. I am a fan of the real Alexander Hamilton by Chernow and having Lin Manuel Miranda find in him - a reason to make a wonderful theatrical event made my heart glad! I will add though, that "rap" was a common event that Gilbert and Sullivan started a very long time ago. So I can't give "rap" the credit that those who are not familiar with G and S seem to give it! By the way we called it "patter".

M
Maureen Keller (Indianapolis, US)
Engaging info, even for the most dedicated Hamilton Fans

As a dedicated Hamilton fan, I have participated in/listened to/read many sessions about him. Yet, I still learned so many things from Dr. Bell's session on "Hamilton: How the Musical Remixes American History". As a fellow college educator, I also learned tips in engaging the audience throughout the session via an organized approach. So, I feel like it was a win-win for me.

B
Barbara Hill (Stroudsburg, US)
Hip Hop Hamilton

Dr. Bell clearly liked the musical “Hamilton,” but he also had questions to discuss about how accurate the history was in the show. If you’re planning to see “Hamilton,” this is a good lecture to hear before you go. If you’ve already seen “Hamilton,” Dr. Bell will give you a renewed appreciation for what Lin-Manuel Miranda accomplished.

S
Susan Meadows (Fremont, US)

Guest did not leave comment