Still trying to figure out the whole “Hamilton” sensation?
Well, Range is here to help. The Manhattan-based a cappella group, co-founded by Jericho’s Ben Holtzman and Ross Baum, has condensed the sprawling, Grammy-winning, three-hour musical in a concise, yet still moving, seven-minute video.
Holtzman and Baum say they started thinking of ways to pay tribute to “Hamilton” while they were watching the musical during its pre-Broadway run at the Public Theater.
“It was all contemporary music,” Baum said. “It would lend itself well to a cappella.”
Holtzman says the songs from “Hamilton” are inspiring fans of all sorts, even those not normally into Broadway musicals.
“So many of my friends not related to theater at all can’t stop listening to the album,” Holtzman says. “Not just my theater friends — everyone.”
He said the way Range condensed the musical was to focus on the lyrics. “We weren’t trying to tell the story,” he says. “We wanted to focus on the relevance of the words and how they apply to our experience now.”
Range’s video has already drawn praise from around the world on YouTube, as well as from “Hamilton” musical director Alex Lacamoire, who tweeted fire emojis and wrote, “Well done y’all! Thanks for making this.”
Holtzman says he can’t discuss Range’s next project, which will premiere on Billboard’s website in the next few weeks, along with work for Sesame Street and Nickelodeon.