Talk Less. Smile More.

If you had told me a week ago that I would be walking through the forest on my lunch hour listening to show tunes, I’d have said you were nuts.

But Friday afternoon I found myself doing exactly that.

Who is this guy?! I wondered. Because I know me pretty well, and I am not the type to do this sort of thing. Or I wasn’t the type to do this sort of thing, until Hamilton came into my life.

I blame my coworkers. Deb and Kristen kept going on and on about some guy named Hamilton.

“Who’s Hamilton?” I asked.

“Hamilton’s not a who,” Deb replied. “It’s a what.”

Well, technically Hamilton is a who. Alexander, to be precise. Constitutionalist, Founding Father, guy whose face appears on the $10 bill. He was (spoiler alert!) famously killed in a duel with Aaron Burr. You probably remember him from history class (or the “Got Milk?” commercial). But the Hamilton my coworkers raved on and on about is the mega-popular Broadway musical that won 486 Tony Awards last week.

I have to admit I was skeptical. I don’t hate musicals, but I certainly don’t seek them out. When Deb urged me to listen to the soundtrack for Hamilton, my first inclination was to come up with an excuse not to. Especially when she described it as a history lesson set to hip-hop music.

“That sounds ridiculous!” I said.

And then she sent me a YouTube link to a song called “Aaron Burr, Sir” and I got it. Instantly.

The concept is nothing short of genius. The rhymes are dope, as the kids say (wait – do they still say that?), and the whole production really is one giant history lesson that happens to be entertaining as hell. I’ve learned so much. Who knew Alexander Hamilton was such a larger-than-life character?

Hamilton silhouette

In retrospect, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that I caught the Hamilton fever. I’m a History minor, after all. And while I’m not a huge fan of rap music, I do appreciate its lyrical complexities and the skill involved in crafting a good rhyme. It was pretty much preordained that I would fall for this musical.

And now a group of us at work has our own insider jargon. We’ll walk around quoting Hamilton lyrics and people are none the wiser. Like, I’ll go up to somebody and say, “Why do you assume you’re the smartest in the room?” and they’ll think I’m just making conversation or insulting them when, in reality, I’m making a subtle reference to “Non-Stop.” It’s pretty cool. I always wanted to learn another language.

I’m hoping that Hamilton hits the road, Jack. Or whatever your name is who happens to be reading this. I’d love to see the actual musical sometime.

What do you think? Are you a fan of musicals in general and/or Hamilton in particular? Does it live up to the hype?

And do you kind of think of Thomas Jefferson as a bit of an asshole now?

17 thoughts on “Talk Less. Smile More.

  1. I was fortunate enough to see it in April … it is every bit as fabulous as “they” say! And I don’t always agree with “them”. It is hitting the road, Jack. And I do believe the children still say “dope”.

    Now that you know the music, check out the opening musical number from this year’s Tony’s …


    1. I’m jealous! I heard tickets for Lin Manuel’s final show are selling for upwards of $14,000. Crazy!

      I’ll be sure to check that out. Thanks for the recommendation.


      1. Wow … THAT’S crazy. We actually saw it with the alternate, who was excellent. He’s the one who performed it for the Obamas, so I figured he’d be good enough for me, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m looking forward to when it has made enough off Broadway to start milking other cities and towns as well. I guessing though based in its success, I may be waiting for awhile.


  3. Mark, I LOVE this show! I don’t know all the music, but I’ve heard many of the songs. One of the guys I work with saw it on Broadway and is obsessed. And it’s funny you mentioned Hamilton because when I was in New York two weeks ago, I walked by the theater just to see the marquee. It was faaaabulous! I have a feeling that this show will stay on Broadway for a loooooooooong time before it’s released to go on tour.

    I’ve seen clips from the musical and I absolutely love the set and costume design. I especially like historical period plays, musicals and movies.

    In case you’re interested, here is a link to a video about the musical. I think you will enjoy it:


  4. Hey old friend! It has been so long the entire look of your blog has changed!! I love it! As for “Hamilton” I have never heard of it but now you have given me something to look up!


  5. I’ve heard how popular it was, and of course, all the awards, but had no idea that it was hip hop music. Actually sounds fascinating! My knowledge of Alexander Hamilton consists of visiting his birthplace on the island of Nevis. I guess I’d want to read up on him before seeing the show.


    1. I’m impressed that you even know where his birthplace is. Until I started listening to the play, I had no idea he was even an immigrant. And they call me a History minor! (Well, okay, nobody actually calls me that, if you want to get technical.)


  6. I just saw it on Wednesday, July 6! I will never forget it-possibly because my daughter and I flew to NYC from Atlanta and camped out on the street for 2 days for cancellation line tickets before Lin-Manuel Miranda left the show. You can read about that on my blog if you are interested 😉 But, like you, I would never have sought that out! LOL It found ME! And I am now completely obsessed with it! It is all that I listen to! I told my husband that when it comes to Atlanta, we must go again! Great post-glad to know I am not alone!


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