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What ‘Hamilton’ the Musical Says About Elites, History, and Pop Culture

Kate Havard reviews “Hamilton” and “Othello” on today’s Federalist Radio Hour


The hit musical “Hamilton” is an original mix of rap, hip-hop, R&B, and more that has dominated the conversation of cultural elites for the last year. On today’s episode of the Federalist Radio Hour, Kate Havard joins to discuss the growing cultural significance of musicals and the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s current production of “Othello.” Havard is a research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The Obama Administration has led the charge to remove Alexander Hamilton from the ten dollar bill, and also made news a few weeks ago by having the cast from ‘Hamilton’ perform at the White House. “There’s a good chance that this musical will save Hamilton on the ten dollar bill,” Havard said. “I also think “Hamilton” is a way of showing things that were not inclusive, or people viewed as non-inclusive, can be changed and people can be brought into that cultural moment without having to shun him and replace him with somebody else.”

Later in the hour, Havard reviews the “Othello” production and how it differs from other versions of the classic Shakespeare play in it’s use of not just racial differences between the characters, but religious differences. “It’s a way of taking something that is culturally relevant and bringing it out in a Shakespeare play without banging you over the head with any sort of lessons and making it relevant to modern times,” she said.

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