Revisiting ‘Hamilton’ in a time of reckoning on racism in US

Though the Broadway musical hasn’t changed since 2015, it’s now being seen through a new perspective. The original cast including Lin-Manuel Miranda discuss how the show fits in today’s climate.
5:59 | 07/11/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Revisiting ‘Hamilton’ in a time of reckoning on racism in US
talks to the cast. Reporter: "Hamilton", the boundary-crossing phenomenon has gone beyond theater to become a vital part of our country's culture. A look at America then told by Alexander Hamilton my name is Alexander Hamilton I have two and a half hours of your time in the theater. And our goal over the course of writing it was honor the impulse that made me think it was a musical. And to me, that was the relentlessness of Alexander Hamilton. And the fact that this is an immigrant narrative before there was a United States. Reporter: People saw the play, and then they went back to their history books, and don't you feel it really sparked a necessary dialog? I think it was a part of a necessary dialog. Our job was to try to create something that would probe and question. I don't think the purpose of theater or art is to give answers. We haven't changed any of the None of the text has changed since Lin put his pen down in 2015. But the world has. So what we bring in, and the questions that are elicited now are going to be fundamentally different. Reporter: Let's bring in the actors. You get the call to audition. Multi-cultural, hip-hop musical about the founding fathers. Who thought it was a crazy idea? Early in the show there's a song called "The story of tonight." Four men of color singing about friendship and brotherhood. And I had never seen an image like that in my life. So, to me, that was the revolution. To me, that image alone made the piece worthy, made it something I was going to bring everybody I knew to see because an image like that rocks you and can change your life, just seeing it. Reporter: George, Chris! I was going to call you "Mr. President." Did you ever expect to play one of the icons of American history? I'm standing in the east room singing a song about the first president leaving office to the first black president who's about to leave office with the portrait just over my shoulder of George Washington. Washington never dreamed that I would be standing there, and he certainly never dreamed that president Obama would be sitting in that seat. We felt like we were on a trajectory then, or at least I did, and the feeling of that has been derailed somewhat, because I have seen no change over the course of my en tire life, right? A week before I came out to perform I got thrown up against a fence by a police officer for no reason. What it implies by watching the show, sparked a revolution and I think now is a good time to examine the show as an example of how to hold your country accountable. And to start demanding the change you need to see. I think it's really interesting that we're going to revisit this show at the same time that these statues are coming down in the streets, you know. There's this young kid that worked very, very hard to get to me. She had a question for me. She said, you know, my friends and I talk about "Hamilton" a lot. We talk about the fact that we don't think it's revolutionary at all. We just think it's a bunch of color of people telling white people's story again. What do you think of that? Reporter: Hmm. How did you answer her? I signed on to be a part of a show that I believed in. That was our leg of the race. Now it's your turn. There's no doubt in my mind that some young kid is going to look at "Hamilton" and write the show that makes what we did look that might be happening at this very, very home. All I said to the young woman is I can't wait to see the show you write. Reporter: Many of the founding fathers were also slave owners, and yet they established our democracy. So how do you, how do you reconcile that, professor? I don't know that it's necessary to reconcile it. History's not just a happy story. It's not full of people that we all want to pal around with. It's full of people who had weak motives, were weak in ways and strong in ways. I think it's important when you see theater, when you see things happening on the news, when you learn things happening in the world that you understand that your discomfort is the beginning of a learning moment. So if anything, I hope that like watching "Hamilton", and seeing the struggles, and seeing how much they were flawed can be an inspiration to people. So many of you have children. What do you have hope that they are going to take away after they've seen it, the young ones? I hope that they will do the deeper dive and discover the other voices of the revolution and the truth behind these voices of the revolution. You know, my son, he grew up with the show. He has a memory of what it was in his head. It's foggy, but now he gets to see the film and he gets to see his uncles and his aunts and how powerfully and beautifully that they tell the story that he owns, and that helps me help make sense for him of the world right now. So my greatest hope is that, you know, we, we, we claim some ownership here, and we project an image that is more true of who we are.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"5:59","description":"Though the Broadway musical hasn’t changed since 2015, it’s now being seen through a new perspective. The original cast including Lin-Manuel Miranda discuss how the show fits in today’s climate.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Nightline","id":"71728463","title":"Revisiting ‘Hamilton’ in a time of reckoning on racism in US","url":"/Nightline/video/revisiting-hamilton-time-reckoning-racism-us-71728463"}