I am putting forth a challenge TO EVERY BROADWAY show to do the same educational deeds as Broadway’s Hamilton. EduHam is a “recentish” development. After all, the phenomena is technically a two year old baby. Yet, like its essence and literal creator, Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton is meant to make education fun and human. Hence, EduHam has to be one of the kindest, humane events Broadway has done.
Seeing a theater FILLED with kids, particularly children of color, experience their first Broadway show was exciting, especially because a few of my BX natives were there. I saw Hamilton before and liked it, but seeing kids “ooOoOoOo” and “AHHHhAHHAH” with a pure joy made me LOVE it. They were eager to experience the show more than just witness it, and I laughed as they giggled as characters cursed to hissed at Hamilton’s cheating scandal. They were absolutely lovely in their duality between innocence and wisdom. It was if I was watching a musical with an audience filled with moral compasses. As adults, we go to the play, and wait for after-show dinner to see if our friends had varying, intellectual interpretations. Yet, there was moral pedometer throughout the musical that made me wonder how the talented cast got through it. It is not everyday you LITERALLY here shock reverberate through a crowd. While most of us grow numb to the vast emotionality of life, these kids live and thrive in the potency of it.
During the morning, 14 different high-schools, each offering a curriculum that had to be passed to attend, provided some of their most creative students to make original interpretations of Hamilton’s story. From raps to re-enactments, I was deeply moved by the level of young talents and brilliant minds. These kids barely broke from their pre-teens, but offered wisdom that people hardly make in their lifetime. I never fully realized or relished how virtuous kids are until I saw them line up with their songs and scripts to bring up thematic nuances that you might miss if you watch Hamilton with a regular crowd. Their themes showed the clash between loyalty to nation vs loyalty to humanity, the difference between short-sightedness and narrow-mindedness, and the hypocrisy of believing in virtues like love and equality, which are unlimited, but placing laws of limitation over them. Watching Collegiate Institute’s Aliyah Rosado or LIC High School’s Nicole Simms pour their hearts into Elizabeth Hamilton’s heartbreak over Alexander’s cheating or seeing TAP Company School’s Jada Brady and Destiny Colon rap about the Shay’s Rebellion was heart-warming. You had children breathing new life into the very history they will inherit. MAGNIFICENT! Moreover, the cast was eager to share their own wisdom, as well.
Eliza Ohman (Swing), Roddy Kennedy (Swing), Andrew Chapelle (Lafayette/Jefferson), and Sasha Hollinger (Swing) came out to answer a few questions from the kids. Yet, even they were taken aback by the depth and genuine search for guidance their questions offered. From perseverance to measurements of happiness, each question demanded a thoughtful answer on how to be better at being human. These children proved that this rising generation is going to be smarter, kinder, and more insightful than the last, i.e. ME! (lol!). Yet, I do not mind, and nor should you because it means there is hope for the future. Thus, I leave my review with the wisest or, at least, most scoping comment of the day. As host Andrew Chapelle laughed and joked with the kids he said, “Your current situation does not have to be your permanent situation”. The comment receives an uproar of authentic applause because, like Hamilton, we all know what it is to feel stuck in dirtier situations, but we all need to know what it is to blossom out of them. For More Information On EduHam Click Here.