I listened to Hamilton for the first time this morning, and it is so killing.
I love it whenever people spend years honing tools so diligently that they might "seriously play" their way into the cannon. In the process, they usually say something daringly fresh, in language that echoes our earliest cultural ancestors. At the same time, they speak directly to each of us, each of our current experiences.
Antique/new, subtle/bold, grooving/surprising, universal/personal.
Musical theater has it's fans, but I am not one. I always get the feeling that musical theater takes advantage of the "easiest" facets of music, story, and emotion. Disney isn't exactly known for it's subtelty.
On the other hand, the promise of musical theater is the same promise that makes (made?) dramatic performance, potentially, the pinnacle artistic experience. Nearly every aspect of theater/opera lends itself to artistic mastery. A great lighting designer can collaborate with a master composer and a dozen other committed, thinking artist-creator-performers and create a piece of art for the ages (Monteverdi? Wagner? Stravinsky? Puccini? Peter Sellars? Martha Graham? Quentin Tarrantino? ).
When they're new, the resulting art-works take the tools of Now and build work that is meaningful in a larger historical/cultural context. Like Chi-Raq earlier this year, Hamilton makes art with it's own medium.