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Hamilton is a hit 2015 musical created by Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda. The musical is based on a biography of the American founding father Alexander Hamilton by Rob Chernow.
Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda first envisioned Hamilton as a project he called "The Hamilton Mixtape", inspired by a biography about Alexander Hamilton that he was reading while his first musical, In The Heights, was on tour. He performed what would later become the opening number of the musical at the White House Evening of Poetry in May 2009.
Hamilton opened off-Broadway in February 2015 at The Public Theater and later moved to Broadway in August. Critical acclaim and praise for the musical's soundtrack and casting generated an online interest in the show even before the soundtrack was made readily available to the public. Hamilton notably casts people of color to play historical people, a choice which has re-contextualized American history in a way that reflects modern America. Lin-Manuel Miranda has said, "Our cast looks a lot like America looks now, and that's certainly intentional. It's a way of pulling you into the story and leaving whatever cultural baggage you have about the founding fathers at the door"
The Hamilton soundtrack consists of 46 tracks. Since the entire musical, like an opera, is sung and rapped through, this gave fans a chance to experience the entire story and plot of the show without having to see it live. On December 15, 2015, Billboard named the soundtrack for Hamilton as one of the best albums of 2015. It placed second, ranking behind Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly. In addition, the soundtrack debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200 album chart, the highest for a cast recording since the 1960s. As a result of the soundtrack's popularity, a large fan following grew around the show, creating fan art and fan covers for the musical.
Mike Pence's Attendance
On the night of November 19th, 2016, the United States vice president-elect Mike Pence attended a showing of Hamilton with his daughter and her cousins at Richard Rodgers Theater in New York City. The Republican governor of Indiana's attendance was met with mixed reaction from the rest of the audience, as seen in videos that later began circulating Twitter (shown below, left), as well as a special message from the cast of the show urging the incoming Trump administration to "work on behalf of all Americans." Improvised on the spot by the show's creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and delivered on-stage by actor Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Vice President Aaron Burr in the musical, a video recording the statement was tweeted via Hamilton's official account (shown below, right).
“We, sir -- we -- are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights,” he said. “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”
The next morning, Donald Trump issued a series of statements via Twitter rebuking the cast of Hamilton for "harassing" Pence and demanding an apology for "being rude" to the vice president-elect.
Meanwhile, Mike Pence, who had initially made no comment as he left the theater on the night of his attendance, praised the production and clarified that he doesn't want an apology from the cast during an appearance on Fox News Sunday.
"My daughter and I and her cousins really enjoyed the show. 'Hamilton' is just an incredible production, incredibly talented people. It was a real joy to be there."
"I did hear what was said from the stage. I can tell you I wasn't offended by what was said. I will leave to others whether that was the appropriate venue to say it."
"When we arrived we heard a few boos, and we heard some cheers. […] "I nudged my kids and reminded them that is what freedom sounds like."
On Twitter, the news of Mike Pence's reception by the cast of Hamilton, along with Donald Trump's demand of an apology, quickly led to divisive opinions and reactions, most notably the hashtag-based game #NameAPenceMusical from the critics of Mike Pence and the #BoycottHamilton campaign against the Broadway musical from supporters of the Trump-Pence administration.
The musical maintains an official website for ticketing, news, and information purposes. In addition, they distribute press clips, updates, and fan service through their social media profiles on Facebook, where they have over 70,000 likes, Twitter, where they have over 83,000 followers, and Instagram, where they have over 89,000 followers. In addition, Hamilton is heavily discussed on Tumblr, where many fans have created popular single topic blogs to discuss the show, including hamiltonlyrics, hamiltontextsfromlastnight, and fuckyeahhamilton. In addition, popular image macros are made by combining quotes with stage images released by the show.
Ham4ham is the name of special ticket lotteries thrown before certain shows. At these lotteries there will usually be a special performance done by either the cast of Hamilton or by a special guest. Guests have included Lea Solanga, Taran Killam, and George Takei. On January 12th, 2016. Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted that the show would be switching to an online lottery combined with online performances, with the first performance scheduled for later in that week.
2017 Fanfiction Drama
On October 27th, 2017, Tumblr user digoxin-purpurea posted an exposure outing Tumblr user Israa of HIV-positive living blog hivliving, a user who claimed to be an "HIV-positive Chinese-Pakistani trafficking survivor, living in India with their Catholic Somali-American wife." "Israa" pretended to be this person in order to give her Hamilton high-school HIV fanfiction authenticity. She was exposed for lying and for being a white American college student who took money via cash.me. The user's actual blog was called allolesbean, which has since been taken over in Woody's Roundup, and there, she admitted that she lied about the persona the day before digoxin-purpurea's exposure post.
However, an investigation by Tumblr user pure into the drama uncovered that digoxin-purpurea exposed allolesbean because digoxin-purpurea once wrote a Hamilton fanfiction about the creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and involved mermaid cannibalism. According to pure, "Digoxin’s expose of Allolesbean is an extension of them getting back at Allolesbean and her friends for turbo cyberbullying them into deleting that cannibal mermaid hamilton fanfiction about Lin Manuel Miranda."
Tumblr user moltencalf summarized the entire drama in a post, which gained over 50,000 notes, which reads:
I sincerely apologize for spamming you all with the Hamilton fanfic controversy, but it’s really giving me so much strength. It’s been a while since we’ve had the kind of scandal that only Tumblr can provide (like the person who robbed graves; the person who mailed their toe to another person so they could make a necklace of it; etc). This scandal is just so fucking good, you know? White American college girl pretends to be a nonbinary Chinese-Pakistani Muslim human-trafficking survivor AND their American WOC wife and they live in India? And they suffered a miscarriage? And they both have HIV? All so she can scam people out of money and amass kudos on Archive of Our Own for her Hamilton HIV fanfic? And she does this for YEARS? And the person who uncovered it is doing it for revenge because the fake-HIV-fanfic writer made them delete a fanfic about Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Jefferson as cannibal mermaids performing oral sex and unironically accused them of gentrifying cannibalism? I mean, this shit is fucking gold.
On December 26th, 2017, Twitter user @twoscooters tweeted, "Somebody posted the entire first act of Hamilton, with original broadway cast, to PornHub with the title REVOLUTIONARY TWINKS HAVE HISTORICAL FUN because every day, we drift further from God’s light," along with a screenshot of the pirated recording on PornHub. The post (shown below) received more than 5,700 retweets and 19,000 likes in less than one week. The video, originally posted by PornHub user Broadwayfucker, has since been removed.
 New York Times – ‘Hamilton’ Had Some Unscripted Lines for Pence. Trump Wasn’t Happy.