Deconstructing the “Hamilton!” Phenomenon with Frank Rizzo


Frank Rizzo

Though fans of the musical “Hamilton!” may be familiar with the song, “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down),” they may not realize the groundwork for the rebel victory at Yorktown was planned in the home of Joseph Webb, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, by George Washington and French General Rochambeau. On Thursday, September 28, 2017, Variety theater critic and Connecticut arts writer Frank Rizzo will give a lively multimedia presentation on the phenomenon that is “Hamilton!” at 6:30 p.m. at the Webb Barn at Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. The free event will be preceded by a wine reception (by donation), at 6:00.

Created for those wishing a deeper understanding of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning blockbuster, Rizzo’s one-hour program will explain why the musical is not simply a landmark show but part of a zeitgeist that is affecting American education, politics and culture.

Rizzo will also deconstruct a song or two to demonstrate the brilliance of the musical work created by Lin Manual Miranda and his collaborators, as well as analyze how and why the show has already become a landmark musical. “‘Hamilton!’ has changed how we view musicals, as well as becoming part of the political and cultural conversation,” says Rizzo, who also writes for The Hartford Courant, Hartford and Connecticut magazines, American Theatre magazine and The New York Times.

Rizzo also teaches a “Hamilton!” class for University of Hartford’s Presidents’ College program and will teach a full undergraduate course on the topic next year at Quinnipiac University. He lectured on the show at the Mark Twain House earlier this year.

Hamilton!Remarkably, Rizzo’s lecture will be followed two weeks later with an appearance by Alexander Hamilton himself, as portrayed by veteran actor and historian, Ian Rose, on October 12.

The WDS Fall Lecture Series opens with a lecture by Phillip Mead, director of curatorial affairs and chief historian at the recently opened Museum of the American Revolution, in Philadelphia, on September 21. The series will conclude on October 26 as members of Public Archeology Survey Team, Inc. discuss the initial findings of a recent archeological survey at the WDS site.

About the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

Located in the heart of Connecticut’s largest historic district, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum provides the quintessential New England experience – from the American Revolution to the early 20th century. Tours include the 1752 Joseph Webb House, where General George Washington met with French General Rochambeau and planned the military campaign leading to the end of the Revolutionary War, the 1770 Silas Deane House, built for America’s first diplomat to France, and the 1788 Isaac Stevens House, which depicts Connecticut life in the 18th and 19th centuries. For more information visit: or call (860) 529-0612. Like us on Facebook: