[Note: My monthly ‘life’ post is due… and it will come, but enjoy this in the meantime!]
I recently (along with many others in Australia!) watched Hamilton: An American Musical when it became available online. I had heard some of the music before, but didn’t know who Alexander Hamilton was, except that he was an American and lived during the revolution. I have to admit I expected an inspirational, rags-to-riches, American Dream™ story.
Instead I was introduced to a rather selfish, ambitious, and at times un-likeable man and his idealistic, patient wife Eliza. Alexander does Great Things, but when his life is snatched from him too early, it is his wife who ends up fulfilling his dreams. And you know what? It was just what I needed. Because I want to be an Eliza, but I know I am too often an Alexander.
In primary school the music teacher showed us the musical ‘Cats’by Arthur Lloyd Webber and Trever Nunn. I found it rather odd, to be honest, but some part of it must have stuck with me, because I ended up performing the ‘Macavity’ song as a poem at the school talent night with a friend.
It wasn’t until much later that I developed a love for the song ‘Memory’– immortalised by Elaine Paige in the 1981 musical, and by many artists afterwards (perhaps most recently Susan Boyle).
The song is sung by Grizabella, a cat who is old, tired and broken, yet longs to begin a new life. It is the climax of the musical and is based on two of T. S. Elliot’s poems.