Let Us Now Praise Great Art: “Hamilton”

SWAGAHNon-Stop

Hamilton is not a musical. At least, not as I understood the term up until Friday night when I sat down on the first mezzanine of the Richard Rogers Theater to see the much-lauded show. My original definition of a musical was  a play with plainly spoken dialogue  punctuated by occasional outbreaks into song. Watching Hamilton, it took a couple of back-to-back musical numbers for me to realize that the kind of dialogue I was expecting  would never come. Nearly every line in the show is either rapped or sung. The music almost never stops. Technically, Hamilton is a sung-through musical, like Les Misérables, which can also be called pop or rock operas. In Hamilton’s case, however, the term hip-hop opera would be the most fitting description.

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My Thoughts In Formation

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On June 7th, at the Citified show of Beyoncé’s Formation Tour, a tall white box stood prominently on stage. Flanked by two flat screens tilted toward the sides of the audience, the box’s function was a mystery until the start of the show. In the moments before Beyoncé even stepped out on stage, the box began to turn and each side flashed a different image of Beyoncé with an orchid erupting from her mouth. The sides of the box , it turns out, were each screens in themselves. As the concert got underway each side showed unique images visible only to people with specific vantage point. Unsurprisingly, the visuals and screens were an integral part of the show. Both the side screens and box sides, not only showed what was happening on stage, but elevated them with graphics, backgrounds, and effects. The scope of the screens and the intricacy of the visuals made it advantageous to sit farther back, in order to fully take in what was happening. Continue reading “My Thoughts In Formation”