I wanted to do something to honor George Washington’s birthday (his real birthday, not “President’s Day”) so I looked at the way Washington is portrayed in the Broadway musical Hamilton. It is one of my great surprises that he comes off as the most admirable character in the show. We still live in an age of revisionism where we look down on our historical heroes. I wish I remember where I heard this, but someone once said that we don’t see Washington portrayed much in drama because he was a man incomprehensible to our age.
Washington first appears in the song “Right Hand Man.” I got worried when he’s introduced with the lines “Here Comes the General,” because it sounds so over-the-top. But Washington is deeply concerned by the dire situation in New York and he wants Hamilton on his staff. Hamilton is ambitious but insecure and Washington is very much a mentor to him.More