‘Hamilton’: 5 Must-Have Gifts for Fans
With how popular Hamilton: An American Musical is these days, it’s pretty likely that you know at least one person who really, really loves it. Like, a lot. They have the original Broadway cast album playing on loop. They bring up references to the show in casual conversation. They’re way more interested in America’s Founding Fathers than they ever were in history class.
If you, in fact, have a Hamil-fan in your life, you’ve probably already figured out that getting them a Hamilton-themed gift this holiday season is a good idea. But you may be at a loss for what to get them. After all, tickets are more or less out of the question — even if they weren’t sold out, they’re cost prohibitive, to say the least.
Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for official merchandise, or something a little more creative, here are five perfect holiday gifts that will delight any Hamilton fan.
1. The Hamilton Mixtape
One of the most amazing things about Hamilton is how well it’s tapped into our broader pop sensibilities. The Original Cast Recording has been certified double platinum, making it one of the most popular Broadway albums of all time. And now, Hamilton’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the album’s producers, The Roots, have created yet another incarnation of the show to appeal to an even bigger audience.
The Hamilton Mixtape features songs from the show — as well as a few that were cut from the production — re-recorded and re-imagined by some of today’s biggest musical stars. All told, the album features 37 artists, including Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Jill Scott, Wiz Khalifa, and even Jimmy Fallon. Like the cast album, it sounds wholly contemporary. Some songs, like “Helpless,” and “Burn,” stay extremely faithful to the show’s original feel; others, like “Immigrants” and “Wrote My Way Out,” are variations on important themes that resonate with Hamilton fans all around the world.
No matter what, it’s a must-have for fans of the show. You can find The Hamilton Mixtape on iTunes and Amazon.com.
2. Books by and about the man and the musical
The great thing about a show like Hamilton is that it’s not just a musical — it’s a history lesson. And for many fans, it’s stoked an interest in everything from the stories behind America’s Founding Fathers to the American revolution itself. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to tap into the history of and behind the show.
Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspired after reading Ron Chernow’s biography, Alexander Hamilton. As he was writing the musical, Miranda poured over source material, like The Federalist Papers, which Alexander Hamilton co-wrote with James Madison and John Jay. And after the show hit Broadway, Miranda and writer Jeremy McCarter released Hamilton: The Revolution, a stunning coffee table book filled with a libretto, production photos, and anecdotes about how the show came to be.
Each of these books captures the spirit and essence of what Hamilton is all about. And they would all be a welcome addition to any fan’s library.
3. Albums by the show’s stars
The biggest Hamilton fans know that the enthusiasm surrounding it isn’t just reserved for the show itself, but for its groundbreaking stars. Though much of the original Broadway cast has left the show, fans are still eager to follow their careers. And they’ve put together some pretty cool post-Hamilton projects.
Leslie Odom Jr., who originated the role of villain Aaron Burr, has released several solo music projects, including a delightful holiday album, Simply Christmas. Daveed Diggs, who delivered impossibly fast raps in the duel role of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, recently released a cutting-edge hip-hop album, Splendor & Misery, with his group, clppng. While the two albums couldn’t be any more dissimilar, they both tap into what so many love about Hamilton — the genre-bending music, and the awe-inspiring talent of its stars.
4. Official Broadway merchandise
There was a time when musical theater gear wasn’t all that cool — the T-shirts were made of stiff material and they never fit; there wasn’t much available if you didn’t want to walk around wearing your favorite show’s logo. Those days are over, though. And luckily for fans, Hamilton has some of the most varied apparel around.
The show’s official website offers up all the different types of merchandise you’d expect — baseball caps, keychains, magnets, fashionable T-shirts, and tote bags. Sure, you can get a shirt with the show’s star-themed logo, if you want. But there’s a lot more to choose from, including items that celebrate the show’s most iconic moments and memorable lines. Pretty much any item they have for sale is something that a Hamil-fan would wear with pride. The problem is figuring out which one they’d like best.
5. TeeRico swag
Without a doubt, Hamilton‘s biggest star is the man who wrote and created the show, Lin-Manuel Miranda. He’s had the rare fortune to crossover into mainstream success — and he’s brought his legions of devoted fans with him for the ride. Miranda set up his own online merchandise shop, TeeRico, in 2016 so he could offer up exclusive, non-Hamilton items to those who were clamoring to buy them.
He sells American-made T-shirts, stickers, mugs, and other items — and donates a portion of the proceeds to charity. Many of the items call back to his most famous moments, like his Tony Award acceptance speech, and inside jokes or common refrains that you can find on his social media accounts. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand everything you see on TeeRico — the point is that his fans will, and they’ll love just about anything that reminds them of their favorite musical-writing, Pulitzer Prize-winning fellow nerd.
Follow Katherine Webb on Twitter @prufrox
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