Hamilton

Hamilton

I listened to the album compulsively for months. It's a great pop musical.

I then had the opportunity to see a live show in LA and was quite surprised at how less engaged I was by it as a theatrical experience. Its melodrama was far richer in my imagination. In person it felt much more maudlin and clumsy in its theatricality. I found it a lot harder to disagree with its critics.

I wondered if perhaps I'd get a greater kick out of the broadcast version. That the intimacy afforded by the camera coming in for a close-up would compensate for whatever was keeping at arms length from appreciating the stage production. It was a little better, but alas I found the editorial rhythms and visual compositions to feel erratic and arbitrary, and so I had new elements to distract me from simply enjoying the music.

Maybe this is a permutation of the axiom: don't read the book before you see the movie. However, I do remember watching an unauthorized high-school production of Hamilton on Youtube at the height of the musical's popularity and it was photographed with far more dynamism and ambition. It was quickly DMCA'd.

Oh well - I guess I'll never be SATISFIED! :p