Tag Archives: the legitimate theater

“Hamilton”

We saw the last show of the touring company’s visit to Madison. The kids have played the record hundreds of times so I know the songs very well. But there’s a lot you get from seeing the songs realized by actors in physical space.

  • I had imagined King George as a character in the plot interacting with the rest of the cast; but in the show, he’s a kind of god/chorus floating above the action, seeing certain things clearly that the people in the thick of it can’t. So his famous line, “I will kill your friends and family to remind you of my love,” comes off in person as less menacing, more cosmic. Neil Haskell played the role very, very, very mincy, which I think was a mistake, but it got laughs.
  • On the other hand, I hadn’t grasped from the songs how big a role George Washington plays. It’s set up very nicely, with the relation between Hamilton and the two Schuyler sisters presented as a shadow of the much more robust and fully felt love triangle between Hamilton, Burr, and Washington.
  • The biggest thing I hadn’t understood from the record was the show’s gentle insistence, built up slowly and unavoidably over the whole of the night, that the winner of a duel is the one who gets shot.
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Math Midway this Sunday in Washington Square Park

If you’re in New York City and like math, consider stopping by the Math Midway, an interactive math exhibit running 10-6 this Sunday, June 14 as part of this year’s World Science Festival Street Fair. (The World Science Festival, despite its name, seems always to take place in New York.  Reminds me of a book I read at Emmanuel’s house, an Encyclopedie des Fromages du Monde which was in fact about the cheeses of France.)  Two more Greenwich Village recommendations from last week’s visit to New York: new Italian storefront restaurant Risotteria and Stephen Merritt’s musical adaptation of Coraline.

It seems that the people behind the Midway are planning to launch a full-scale museum of mathematics, to be called Math Factory and located somewhere in Greater New York.  Is this a good idea?

Update: I almost forgot my most important New York recommendation:  the Francis Bacon retrospective at the Met, which is even better than Risotteria and Coraline.

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