I’ve kicked off a new pandemic family project: Project Hamilton.
I’m a huge fan of Hamilton. Never heard of it? It’s a multi-award winning musical about the rise and fall of Alexander Hamilton, a Founding Father of the United States and its first Treasury Secretary.
Yeah, I know, it doesn’t sound promising, does it? I mean, who in a hundred years’ time is going to queue up to watch Johnson or Cummings, eh? You’ll have to take my word that this is a game-changing and culturally significant show. Its focus on the role of immigrants in the birth of the US resonates more than ever today.
Heather and I have seen it twice; the kids once. Nearly four years after we started listening to the soundtrack, it’s still on heavy rotation in our household. It’s no understatement to say it has played a significant role in all our children’s lives. Hardly a day goes by without someone bursting into song or quoting snippets of lyrics.
Born on the Third of July
Back during its initial Broadway run, cameras recorded live performances of the show with the original cast. The resultant film will premiere on Disney+ on Friday 3rd July. It’s no accident this coincides with Independence Day weekend.
Of course, the five of us will be watching it on the day of release.
Our kids love the show. And, more recently, they have discovered a passion for karaoke. An idea hatched in my mind to combine the two as part of an American-themed event.
The core plan is as follows. Each of the five of us will select one song from the Hamilton soundtrack. I’ll reconstruct a vocal arrangement around the five of us. And we’ll then perform them, karaoke-style, as an ensemble.
That gives us three weeks to choose, arrange and practise our five songs ahead of the film. Once we’ve watched it, we’ll incorporate staging and choreography to build our own mini-show.
I floated the idea with the kids last weekend and they were suitably excited.
So now we have something to look forward to and build towards over the next few weeks. I’m having fun reconstructing the vocal arrangements for a five-person ensemble to perform. If nothing else, it will make a pleasant change from the kids’ usual Eurovision-heavy karaoke playlist.
Unlike the actual musical, no videos of this performance will ever be broadcast, or find their way on to social media. It’s for the best. Some things are best kept within the room where it happens.*
* Yes, I’m quoting lyrics from the show.