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From Broadway to Marina Bay Sands: Hamilton takes Singapore by storm

2 mins read
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It has been close to a decade since Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit hip-hop musical debuted on Broadway. And if ticket sales for the Singapore premiere being staged at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands are anything to go by, it seems the hype hasn’t faded in any way.

This super musical was groundbreaking when it was first staged in 2015 because of its hip-hop, gangsta-rap treatment of America’s founding story. It also probably raised the story of one of the lesser known founding fathers such as Alexander Hamilton, who was relatively unknown and had personal indiscretions that held back his chances at presidency.

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In a legendary origin tale, show creator Lin-Manuel Miranda was struck by the realisation that many of the pivotal events in Hamilton’s life resembled the conflict and adversity of rap and hip-hop after bringing Ron Chernov’s Hamilton biography on vacation in 2009.

Inspired, he worked on a collection of raps and songs with no actual plans for a musical. Later on, he was invited to the White House to perform a song from the musical In The Heights in front of then-President Obama but decided to debut a previously unreleased song called “Alexander Hamilton” instead. Miranda received a standing ovation which then encouraged him to expand the project.

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In 2015, Hamilton opened on Broadway and has now become a global phenomenon. Although it’s taken nine years to reach our shores, it hasn’t lost any of the energetic drama - with a clever and groundbreaking mish mash of genres: different styles of rap, hip-hop, R&B, and even 60s Brit-Pop to characterise historical events and people.

The Hamilton experience at the Sands Theatre is of course slightly different from that of Broadway or West End theatres, where you’d feel closer to the action. But if you’ve got tickets to the hottest musical in town, you’ll definitely be in the “room where it happens!”

All images are credited to Joan Marcus.

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