What is it about?
In the essay, I argue that Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights (2008) and Hamilton (2015) find their inspiration in a generative conflict between individualism and community, freedom and property, whiteness and blackness, and empathy and complicity. The contradictory thematic pressures organizing Miranda’s musicals are the product of a complex negotiation with the institution of Broadway and its historic (mis)representation of people of color.
Photo by Robinson Greig on Unsplash
Why is it important?
The initial response to "Hamilton" (2015) categorizes the musical as a project of historical fiction that teaches the audience to be critical of the mainstream narrative of American. Additionally, the musical is seen as challenging contemporary political discourses on citizenship and immigration. This essay places "Hamilton" in dialogue with Miranda's "In the Heights" (2008) to argue that the musicals do quite the opposite, reinforcing neoliberal definitions of Americanness.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Blackout on Broadway: Affiliation and audience in In the Heights and Hamilton, Studies in Musical Theatre, June 2018, Intellect, DOI: 10.1386/smt.12.2.181_1.
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