Welcome back to the Library!
We are so glad to welcome our patrons back to the Library. We've missed you. Here are a few of our favorite movies, shows, and books!
Hamilton Available to stream on Disney+ Intended Audience: Rated PG-13 Reviewed by: Ryan
Last Friday, the world was turned upside down when Disney+ released the filmed stage production of the musical phenomenon, Hamilton (book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, directed by Thomas Kail). In case you haven’t heard about Hamilton, the show follows the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, who would become the first Secretary of Treasury. Sound boring? Not quite! Hamilton opened on Broadway in 2015 and went on to win eleven Tony Awards, a Grammy Award, and was even honored by the Kennedy Center in 2018. Needless to say, the musical has taken America by storm. At one point, tickets for the Broadway production were fetching over $1,000 per seat. Even now (well, before COVID), tickets were going for upwards of $700 a pop. It should be no surprise that people flocked to Disney+ to view the professionally shot stage production.
The music and lyrics of Hamilton feature a multitude of genres including standard Broadway-style, hip hop, rap, and R&B. The staging and casting of Hamilton brings our Founding Fathers to light in a different way. The principal and supporting characters (albeit King George III) are played by people of color which, to quote Miranda, shows that this is a story about America then, “told by America today.” It did not take long for me to become impressed by the entire company as well as the designers who are involved with the production. The show features impressive use of lighting cues as well as a turntable on the stage deck to facilitate the complex staging needed to tell this story. One of my favorite sequences in the entire piece is the “rewind” in the song “Satisfied,” when they actually turn back time to an earlier song in the show and we get to see the events through a different character’s eyes. There are so many layers to the staging that I will continue to dissect each time I watch it, for example, an omen of death can be seen throughout the show (let me know if you can spot it, no cheating!). While the actors who play Aaron Burr and Angelica Schuyler received the Tony Award in their category (both equally well-deserved), one woman who was passed over for the “Broadway Oscar” brought me and my family to tears multiple times. Philippa Soo has the honor to bring Eliza Hamilton to life and boy, does she! While the show may be focused on Hamilton (Alexander, that is), his story would not be able to be told without his faithful wife. Hamilton has accomplished more than just becoming a popular Broadway musical. It is worth a watch or listen to gain some of the history from it, however, it is not the complete story. For that, see the book on which Miranda based the musical: Ron Chernow’s biography of the Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton, which the Easton Library owns!
If you happen to see me in the Library in the coming weeks, don’t be afraid to talk to me about Hamilton. I’d love to hear what you thought of it!
Call My Agent!
Series Available on Netflix
Intended Audience: Adults
Reviewed by Mary Beth
Don’t let the subtitles deter you from this great French import. Call my Agent! is about a small Parisian talent agency and the complicated, often hilarious relationships between the actors and the talent agents. Each episode features actual French actors who interact seamlessly with the fictitious talent agents. This series is magnifique!
The Book of Lost Friends
by Lisa Wingate
Intended Audience: Adults
Available to Easton residents in print, large print, eaudiobook, and ebook formats
Click here to request.
Reviewed by Shannon
I love anything antique...anything with a history, so the historical novel, The Book of Lost Friends, by Lisa Wingate was the perfect choice for me, and it did not disappoint. In 1875, Hannie, a freed slave, Lavinia, an heir to a declining plantation, and Lavinia's half-sister, Juneau June are on a journey west, each searching for something that's missing in their lives. Hannie places an ad looking for her long-lost family, from whom she was separated at a young age. She keeps a journal, chronicling their story. Lavinia and Juneau June are looking to reclaim their stolen inheritance of a run-down plantation. One hundred years later, Benedetta Silva takes her first teaching job in a small Louisiana town, and finds herself in charge of a group of unruly, poverty-stricken students and a community resistant to change. When Benedetta is exploring a nearby plantation home for books she might use with her students, she comes upon Hannie's hidden journal, which unearths the truth about the three young women and their connection to the people of the town. I love how the characters' stories entwine and are so very relevant. I love that it is the love of books and the need for them that facilitates the discovery of the book that brings the families together.