Paul L. Caron
Dean


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Enough With Hamilton, Say Fans Of Other Founding Fathers

Hamilton (2018)Wall Street Journal, Enough With Hamilton, Say Fans of Other Founding Fathers:

It’s a hard time to be a Founding Father if your name isn’t Alexander Hamilton.

The runaway Broadway success of “Hamilton: An American Musical” has meant that Thomas Jefferson isn’t even the sole attraction in his own home-turned-museum, Monticello. Visitors can take a standard house tour—or a $40 “Hamilton Takeover” one that focuses on Jefferson’s political adversary.

Long after its 2015 Broadway debut, “Hamilton” continues to make the Revolutionary period hip, and to the dismay of many history buffs, steal the limelight from other Founding Fathers. Fans of the other giants of early American history have been trying to fight the tide and grab some attention for their overlooked favorites. It hasn’t been easy. ...

In Philadelphia, crowds line up for a Hamilton exhibit at the National Constitution Center, but a beer-trolley tour led by a Benjamin Franklin impersonator is no longer offered because of lack of interest. ...

One Philadelphia-area Franklin impersonator, Brian Patrick Mulligan, posted a tongue-in-cheek audition video when casting directors were recruiting for a “Hamilton” national tour. His headshot was the $100 bill. The show’s casting director didn’t reach out, and Franklin remains absent from the show.

“It’s so young and hip and fresh,” Mr. Mulligan, 58 years old, says of the musical. “I can understand why they wouldn’t have an old man in the show.”

Descendants and supporters of Burr, who killed Hamilton in an 1804 duel in Weehawken, N.J., have debated how hard to push back on the play’s characterization that Burr dishonorably fired on Hamilton.

“The play adopts the theory as true that Hamilton deliberately missed Burr,” says Stuart Fisk Johnson, a criminal-defense attorney distantly related to Burr who heads the Aaron Burr Association. “Throwing away your shot, they called it. But no one really knows what happened.”

The association debated sending a letter of protest to playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda. Its members couldn’t agree on whether to take a stand. ...

“Some members really leaned on me to make a big stink,” Mr. Johnson says. “We thought it’s going to make the Aaron Burr Association look like a bunch of kooks.”

For more on my obsession with interest in Hamilton, see here and:

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2019/06/enough-with-hamilton-say-fans-of-other-founding-fathers.html

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Comments

It's Jefferson Jackson Day every day at the White House.

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Jun 27, 2019 4:59:33 AM