People who belong to the mainstream and may not be theater nerds of critical snobs tend to look down on Broadway productions and the albums of music that go along with them. But when the right musical comes along, the songs from it have the ability to transcend their source and become major hits in the world of mainstream music and culture. For example, for many years, the cast recording of the tunes from Rent was in sixth place on the list of the all-time best selling cast recordings with an astonishing one million, two hundred and eighty four thousand albums sold.
However, Rent will have to settle for dropping to seventh because the newest phenomenon in musical theater is here and his name is Alexander Hamilton. That’s right, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smashing success, Hamilton, just surpassed Rent with one thousand more albums sold. Since Hamilton debuted one hundred weeks ago, it has sold a jaw-dropping amount of albums, including almost three hundred thousand in 2017 alone.
This milestone has not been reached since 2011 when Wicked and The Book of Mormon achieved the feat. Hamilton will have some more tough competitors as it continues its rise to the top since it is still behind Les Miserables and Jersey Boys, never mind the musical at the top, Phantom of the Opera.
Hamilton has become such a massive global phenomenon that it is hard to see what the next big thing in musical theater is going to be. Surely, companies and producers are going to be looking for the “next Hamilton,” but it will not necessarily just fall into their laps. After all, you just have to trust your talent that you hire and try not to force anything too big. Although, the musical, Dear Evan Hansen, seems to be making waves in the mainstream entertainment culture.