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Phillipa Soo Hamilton

The initial excitement in Hamilton on Broadway had as much to do with the way that the story was being told as it did the story itself. The story of Alexander Hamilton and the founding of the nation is as much myth as it is reality, and the real story certainly isn't quite as glorious as a Broadway musical makes it look, but for Phillipa Soo, that's part of why the show is so important.

Hamilton has received some criticism, first when the play originally debuted and then again now that the filmed version is on Disney+, that the story it tells is not historically accurate. There's little argument against that, there are absolutely elements of Hamilton that aren't strictly true, but for Eliza Hamilton herself, Phillipa Soo, there's still an importance to the show, especially now, as a piece of aspirational art. Even if the world of Hamilton never existed, that's ok, as it has other value. According to Soo...

I think that more than ever, we need something like this to remind us of the places that we want to go to. To give us some hope to give us some inspiration. And to know that, you know, even in even amidst chaos, there’s something to be found there. There’s something to be searched for. Which might be, you know, it might be dangerous, it might be messy. It might be loud, it might be violent. But in the end, as long as we’re working towards building something, you know, we can, we can set our eyes towards that.

Hamilton the movie arrives during a period of societal upheaval in the U.S. especially. There's a feeling that many of the ideas that were supposedly part of the founding of the nation still are not part of the lives of many. Phillipa Soo's comments to Nerdist point out that, much like the American Revolution itself, change is sometimes messy, but that doesn't make it less necessary, and so if Hamilton can be a goal for us to be made real, that's a good thing.

As long as nobody embraces Hamilton as total truth, there's really no problem with it being fictional history. Much of the story is true, after all, and if the play gets people more interested in American history to the point where they actually learn the real story, so much the better.

Art exists to make statements. Lin-Manuel Miranda has spoken about how Hamilton was born from the idea of telling the story of America's past made up of a cast that looks like America's present. Hamilton himself was an immigrant. While the Broadway show was written and performed in one era, the show, without changing, has evolved into something else simply by being viewed in the modern era.

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