The addition of 21st century hip-hop to the story of the story of an 18th century founding father is not the only way in which Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton has been innovative. More so than perhaps any other Broadway musical of the past, the show has been warmly embraced by the fandom community and cross-pollinated with any number of other film and television properties, ranging from Star Wars to Parks And Recreation. Writer Natalie Zutter discusses what makes this particular musical so different from all the others in a Tor piece called “Why Hamilton Is The Perfect Mashup For Every Fandom.” The very fact that the non-sci-fi Hamilton merits coverage at a science-fiction-themed website is an indication of the show’s widespread popularity. Zutter reports that there are people who are familiar with the musical only through its many crossovers with other franchises.
One crucial factor, Zutter says, is that many fans know Hamilton only through its popular (and, briefly, free) soundtrack album. Having never seen the sold-out show in person on Broadway, listeners are free to add their own visuals to these songs, unencumbered with a “standard” or “canon” version. A fan who hears a song from Hamilton and has visions of, say, Harry Potter or Luke Skywalker, feels a certain level of ownership of the material. The show’s racially diverse cast, furthermore, makes it accessible to a wider audience, something that definitely could not be said about previous musicals about the founding fathers. But perhaps the most obvious reason why Hamilton fits so well into the current remix culture is that the show is itself a remix, influenced by such diverse sources as The Pirates Of Penzance, The Beatles, and The Notorious B.I.G. The article argues that Hamilton resonates with fans because it was created by a fan.
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