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How Hamilton Revolutionized the Broadway Musical

It took exactly the right mix of circumstances for Hamilton to become the smash hit it did. Join Great Courses favorite, Professor John McWhorter, to look at a history of Broadway musicals and examine why Hamilton has received so much hype—and if it lives up to it.
How Hamilton Revolutionized the Broadway Musical is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 8.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting! Pretty short video and good enough as an intro to musical Hamilton. I enjoyed the introduction, argument and historical background spelled out in this video. I hope Professor would do a lengthier version on the same.
Date published: 2023-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I thought Professor McWhorter did a great job of explaining why this musical is a hit now. I have not seen it yet due to Covid 19 closing theatres down, but definitely will. This course will give me a more informed lens to watch it through.
Date published: 2021-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very interesting thoughts I enjoyed this lecture! Even though it was only 10 minutes, I thought Professor McWhorter brought up some very interesting points that allowed me to look at this musical from a different perspective.
Date published: 2021-05-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Helped me to understand why Hamilton is so great I love Hamilton and love learning more about it. This made me think of how much went into the creation of Hamilton. Fun to watch. And I watch Hamilton all the time!
Date published: 2021-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A solid scholarly approach The professor brought up three very interesting points as to why the musical hit mainstream culture the way it did, two of which I had not thought of. I appreciated the dry, academic tone, as it was not colored by a hyper-fan emotional view of Hamilton just being "really good and entertaining." A solid scholarly approach.
Date published: 2020-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice Scholarly Review John McWhorter does a good job of explaining the importance of the musical Hamilton's use of rap music successfully. It was a huge risk on the part of the creator and it's success far exceeded expectations, including his own. I loved the show and plan to re-watch it. I purchased the book and want the soundtrack. Professor McWhorter is right, Hamilton is a must see for all. I also love that it presents history in such a unique and interesting way.
Date published: 2020-09-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from HAMILTON Very academic, not interestingly presented. Missed the excitement and historical relevance of the musical.
Date published: 2020-09-12
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About

John McWhorter

Far from being a language in decline, we have reason to believe that English, with all its beauty and quirks and illogicities, will be carried far into the future.

INSTITUTION

Columbia University

John McWhorter is an Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He earned a PhD in Linguistics from Stanford University. He is the author of several books, including The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language; Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter; and Word on the Street, a book on dialects and Black English. He has also been published in outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, and he has appeared on Dateline and Good Morning America, among other platforms.

By This Professor

Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage
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Language Families of the World
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Language A to Z
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Ancient Writing and the History of the Alphabet
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Broadway Musicals: Why Hamilton has Captivated the Public's Eye

01: Broadway Musicals: Why Hamilton has Captivated the Public's Eye

Hamilton revolutionized the Broadway musical like no other show in the history of musicals. The way it was cast, the music choices, the focus on a character who is historically considered a sidekick among the more famous Founding Fathers …these elements were groundbreaking for the genre. Dive into the radical approach Hamilton creators took in developing this modern musical and understand why the timing and circumstances were ideal, making Hamilton a game-changing experiment that paid off in a way that will go down in history.

12 min