"Hamilton" is not just a Broadway show popular with people living near NY. It's a cultural phenomenon across the United States and from my limited exposure, English-speakers around the world.
Nothing wrong with explaining it. I'm sure many people here don't know anything about it. That explanation was a little weak though, because it a) misstated Alexander Hamilton's role in history and b) really understated the significance of the show.
I had only heard about it from watching John Oliver.
"Hamilton" has reached the point where it's a part of the mainstream pop culture, discussed on national morning shows, late night talk shows, etc. That's unusual for a Broadway show, these days.
btw, Alexander Hamilton was never the president
IMHO, it has resonated with people because it takes a stuffy topic and makes it more relatable to younger generations allowing them to see a bit of themselves in the founding of this country. It also goes against a prevailing thought that it's ok to "white-wash"(recast minority roles with white actors) but not the inverse. Also, the internet, this was the viral video that started it all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNFf7nMIGnE
Unable to score tickets to see the show, fans have coalesced around the really awesome soundtrack.
That isn’t any kind of guarantee of success, but it’s a damn good base to start from.
It’s pointless to try and ram the founding fathers into any kind of modern left/right axis - 300 years ago is definitely another country & they did things differently there. Trust me, if you haven’t heard it, get a hold of the cast album and give it a listen. It’s worth your time.
Re: your point about the leftist crowd, the Clinton campaign giving away tickets is notable because tickets now sell on the secondary market starting at $1000+. (And 100% worth it.) The show itself does make you sympathize for a character who consistently advocates for a strong central government (see Cabinet Battle #1, Disc 2 Track 2), but that's an afterthought in the context of how groundbreaking the rest of the show is.
It's not really an overtly political show, other than a few jokes about immigrants being effective. That is, the show covers highly political material as it profiles Hamilton, a Federalist. But I don't think the show itself has a strong political message it's trying to propagate, at least not in relation to current campaigns. You could argue the show is making the statement that the founding of the country and the founding fathers are history that belongs to all of us, people of color, recent immigrants, white descendants of the pilgrims, etc. – and that history needs to be told in new ways and understood by everyone.
But I think advocating better understanding of our history is something conservatives appreciate too, and in general, conservatives believe in self-reliance, accountability, etc., and should respect the self-made story of Hamilton.
I think HRC is giving away tickets just to piggyback on the popularity of the show and its recent Tony wins. Also, seeing as HRC was a Senator from New York (and I think currently resides in NY officially), it makes sense for her to associate with a cultural phenomenon from there.
My wife loves it and I listened to parts of it and it has some really catchy rap. She never got into hip-hop culture, so I think this is the the big breakthrough for a lot of white middle-class and higher theater/musical people who previously found this stuff inaccessible.
This is pretty much Kanye for housewives and grandmas. Its non-threatening and if there is anything controversial about it, its a manufactured controversy that's safe to partake in.
Also check out the http://graphics.wsj.com/hamilton-methodology/ for what the sausage is made of (focusing more on algorithms/models with a bibliography).
It's really well done.