R417 Fall 2019 Hamilton and History
Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Nov. 6–Nov. 13
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Jim Dunphy
Lin Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking play Hamilton won multiple awards, such as Tonys and Grammys, the Pulitzer Prize, and a special Kennedy Center Honor. So obviously it is great theater, but is it great history? Miranda based the play on Ron Chernow’s award-winning biography of Alexander Hamilton. In this class, we will ascertain how well Miranda used Chernow’s book and other sources and investigate how closely the Hamilton of Broadway mirrors the Hamilton of history. We will build on previous OLLI classes on this groundbreaking musical by getting down in the weeds and analyzing specific lyrics of selected songs for their historical accuracy.
Jim Dunphy grew up in “The Greatest City in the World” – New York, and in 2016, returned there, spending $2,400 for four tickets to Hamilton (money well spent!)