Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles - ♪ I'm past patiently waitin' ♪ ♪ I'm passionately smashing every expectation ♪ - Oh, Hamilton. - This is a Broadway show, isn't it? - It's the coolest American history lesson you're likely to get. - ♪ Tomorrow... ♪ - Bring it. - And the hottest ticket on Broadway. - Really? - Hamilton, a kind of hip hop musical-- - This is supposed to be hot. - ...Alexander Hamilton. - Hamilton's creator and star, Lin Manuel Miranda performed an early version of one of the play's songs at the White House in 2009. - Wow. - That's right. I remember that. - ♪ How does a bastard orphan son of a whore and a Scotsman ♪ ♪ Dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot In the Caribbean by providence ♪ - Provocative. - ♪ in squalor... ♪ - It's so creative. I love it. - The joy of discovery of-- "Oh, if I tell Hamilton's story, I actually tell the story of the forming of our country." That was a joyous experience, and I think, honestly-- - Yeah, he's right. That's unusual. - And the language, the rhythms of hip hop? - It's the best form for Hamilton. - That's interesting to hear him say that. - This is innovative. This is new. - What about the casting of the Founding Fathers as Latino, as Black? - Let's not pretend this is a textbook. Let's make the founders of our country look like what our country looks like now. We are every shade and every color, and it also comes organically out of the music. This is hip hop and R & B music. These are the best people to sing this type of music. - I can't wait to see this. - That's really interesting. - It's not typically music that you would see on Broadway. Maybe it's attracting more young people to Broadway. - ♪ I am the A-L-E-X-A-N-D-E-R ♪ ♪ We are meant to be ♪ ♪ A colony that runs independently ♪ ♪ Meanwhile, Britain keep [bleep] on us endlessly ♪ - ♪ We hold these truths to be self evident ♪ ♪ That all men are created equal ♪ - Oh yeah! Now I'm getting to it. - ♪ I'ma compel him to include women in the sequel ♪ - ♪ Work! ♪ - ♪ But Hamilton forgets... ♪ - I like this. - ♪ ...the government assume state's debts ♪ - Hip hip history. Very cool. - ♪ ...where Hamilton sits ♪ - ♪ Not true! ♪ - Hopefully, this will get more kids into the theatre. - ♪ A new line of credit ♪ - It's so great because it would make young people want to open up a book and read about all of this. - ♪ There would've been nothing left to do For someone less astute ♪ ♪ He would've been dead or destitute Without a cent of restitution ♪ ♪ Starting workin', clerkin'-- ♪ - A very interesting concept. - Oh! God, there's so many genius people out there. - ♪ The ship is in the harbor now ♪ - This is entertainment. - That looks so great. - ♪ Just you wait ♪ - ♪ What's your name, man? ♪ - ♪ Alexander Hamilton ♪ - Bravo! - Excellent. Excellent. - I'm sure that's gonna win all the Tony Awards this year. - I love it! Absolutely love it. - So had you ever heard of the Broadway musical Hamilton before today? - I have not. - I had not. - I had. - Yes. Yes, I have. - Oh, absolutely. Just from reading The New York Times. - Most musicals, I find too flowery, and sweet, and cute, and we wrap it up in a big red bow. But I love musicals with substance. This has substance. - What did you think about the performances that you saw? - I like it. - I loved it. - I thought it was utterly sensational. - The rap, combined with the history, is extraordinary. - I loved the experimentation and the creativity and the fact that they can present this in such an exciting way. I'm dying to see it. - What do you think about a Broadway musical integrating rap and hip hop into the show? - I think it's really good because why not? - It's not what I'm used to in Broadway musicals, but it looks like it's well done. - Theatre is such a wonderful platform to bring in all this new stuff. - That might even appeal to a wider audience. You can bring young people into the theatre to see programs they would otherwise say, "Are you kidding me?" - It takes it off of the stage and brings it into the common language. And it's done hip hop. Fantastic. - So this play is about the life of Alexander Hamilton, cast almost entirely with people of color playing the Founding Fathers of the United States. The creator of the play in the interview said that he did this because he wanted to tell the story of our country that was a reflection of what our country looks like today. - That's exactly what I have a problem with because he's not being truthful. And I have no problem with discussing the negative aspects of what were there, but let's be honest about it. - I love that it's inclusive of all people. - We've seen oodles of white guys playing Founding Fathers forever. So why shouldn't we put different ethnicities, different colors in? - To have all those different ethnic groups there was great 'cause back in those days all we had was slavery. - I think it's about time that we accept the fact that we come in all shapes, and sizes, and colors. You're really talking about text here. You're talking about intellect, so that has no color, really. So why couldn't any person of any color deliver text that's extraordinary, and historical, and accurate? - Hamilton has been one of the biggest musicals to hit Broadway in quite some time. The cast recording was the highest debut on the billboard charts for a cast album since the musical Camelot in the early '60s. - Really? - Oh, really? Oh, that's funny. Camelot, I saw Camelot. - When it comes to past Broadway musicals, what types of people usually enjoy them? - Rich people. - People with enough money to buy the ticket. - What I would like to see is more people your age go into musical theatre appreciating it, but also that it brings in current trends, current music. - I think this guy Miranda would certainly want to encourage having kids come in and see this wonderful show because then you could have discussions about history. - How would you say Hamilton appeals to a different group of people compared to a typical musical audience? - Oh, it's just in the type of music. That it's different, the hip hop. - I believe what they set out to do was to bring it to the current age, which is hip hop. - It's wonderful how he adapted the hip hop genre to history. It doesn't matter what age or what your background is or whether you work at IBM or you work at a local diner. I think you can identify. You could get into this piece. - Many are touting Hamilton, both for its popularity within Broadway circles, but also for its appeal to people outside of the typical Broadway audience. The cast album peaked at number one on the rap albums chart. - Wow! I didn't know that. - Does it surprise you that a musical featuring rap and hip hop has this much widespread appeal? - Yes, it does. - It does. People want to frown on it a lot, you know? But now it's maybe come center stage. - Maybe it is a surprise, but I'm glad it is because it's getting these people who watch rap into watching Broadway. - I love the fact that so many people are responding to it. I think it's wonderful to open up a whole new world to people who are not theatre goers. - Where do you see the future of musicals heading? Will there be more musicals coming out like Hamilton that are different from traditional Broadway plays, or do you think this is just an exception? - No, I think there'll be more. There'll have to be because otherwise musicals will eventually fade out. - Music is a history of copycats, so a lot of people will try this. - I think it'd be nice to have a mix. You can educate a group of people who would not normally attend a musical simply because you're doing it in their genre that they live in. - I would hope that something like Hamilton will generate more similar type shows, and bring more people into live theatre. - Finally, it was announced recently that Hamilton is gonna be going on tour starting next year. If it comes to a city near you, do you think you're gonna go see it? - If I can afford it, yes. - Oh, absolutely. I can't wait to see it. - Yes! I will go. I will be first in line. I love it. - Of course. I've made some plans later this year to go see The Lion King in New York so I'ma add this. - I would LOVE to see it live. I never thought I would see rap musical on Broadway. Woo! - Thanks for watching this episode of Elders React. - Subscribe and you'll always be the first to know when a new video comes out.