Herb, there's a lot you've said that I agree with and that I already said in my OP. Lin-Manuel Miranda is extraordinary and I thought that much about the show was simply stunning, including some amazing performances and incredible songs. I thought the casting choices were bold, modern, and inspired, and I've already stipulated to the fact that I'm in the minority as far as not loving it.

"Lin Manuel Miranda should certainly be proud of bringing this concept to fruition. He deserves the praise he’s gotten for creating something new and undeniably timely, but as I said before, although it had some stunning moments, for me the whole thing never really quite gelled. I think the main issue was simply trying to fit too much into one story-line."

So, you can tell me why you loved it. You can tell me we will never agree, but it's incredibly condescending to tell me what I would probably think, particularly when throughout my OP I gave very clear examples of why it didn't gel for me and your suppositions about my supposed preferences and thoughts bear no relationship to what I actually said was the issue.

As someone who studies the craft of writing and sometimes succeeds at it, in storytelling, you don't tell people about what's going on between characters, you show it, but Hamilton is so busy interacting with so many other characters and focusing on so many different elements of history that you never feel his relationship with any of them in more than a superficial way because you are mostly told about them and do not have those relationships truly unveil to the audience over time. One song about how we're all buddies doesn't mean that I really feel the friendship, for example.

The relationship with Washington comes the closest, but again, as I said in the OP, "Yes, we’re told that Hamilton wants to lead some troops, rather than just being an administrative aid to George Washington, and that it’s something he passionately desires, but at least for me, I didn’t feel that invested in that part of the story because I didn’t feel the urgency he felt." (I was just told about it and expected to believe in it)

You are making my point for me as relates to the women. If the only reason you are including those characters is so you can say you have women in your show and some kind of love interest, they are extraneous characters and that's not great story craft.

Here's what it should have been (in my opinion): A bit more about Hamilton's early life, perhaps reflecting on it in more depth from inside of him as he is leaving his home just before he arrives in America, looking to make his way. The primary focus is the development of his relationship with Burr and how that grows and changes through the years with the historical elements as the backdrop. We are let more into his head and heart, into his interior spaces so that we truly get to know who Hamilton is, and not just the list of what he did. This includes a deeper understanding of his relationship with his wife, why he takes up with that other woman, other than she was just there and available (that part really confused me - other than it apparently happened and contributed to his ouster). We'd have a better, meatier understanding (instead of one song about it) of the ways that he contributed to this country and why in spite of those, he was relegated to a historical footnote.

As I said in my OP, the point of musical theater of any kind is to make you feel, to carry you away to a larger place, and although many of the wonderful and powerful songs do accomplish that (which is why so many people love it) in the end, I still didn't really know who any of those characters were as people and therefore didn't particularly care about them. I feel I know Jean Valjean from Les Mis, in part because I wasn’t just told that he went to prison for stealing a mouthful of bread. I actually got to experience him there, suffering and then later I got to experience his transformation from bitter ex-con to a different kind of man due to the kindness of the priest. I know more about what Hamilton did now, but I don't know anything more about who he was, and I think that's too bad. Most musicals take place over days or weeks, but this one takes place over decades, which is where it gets watered down. Even 1776 isn’t about the entire revolution or the entire year, it’s about a few months just before the signing of the Declaration.

It was an outstanding cast and they did an incredible job. Much of the music was masterful and will go down through time as some of the best songs from musical theater. And even so, I never really got to know any of the characters, and for me, that's a miss. That doesn't detract from the impact and influence of this show, which are undeniable, but it does impact my desire to ever watch it again. But if you love it, please enjoy. I’m not trying to make you not love it. I’m simply giving my critique of it as a work of art.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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