Barely two weeks after a story about the United Nations using a Broadway musical (Fun Home) to promote gay rights around the world, another musical was promoting harmony between sworn political enemies: a Democrat and a Republican in the Utah statehouse.
Democratic State Sen. Jim Dabakis and Republican Rep. Ken Ivory, both of Utah, appeared together before the Senate March 9 to urge passage of a resolution honoring Hamilton, the rap musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Furthermore, the pols dressed as characters from the show—Dabakis as King George III and Ivory as Hamilton—and rapped their way through the show's opening verses on the floor of the State Senate.
”There are not a lot of things that my friend Representative Ivory and I agree on,” Dabakis was quoted saying, adding that, in fact, ”We're suing each other.” But, Dabakis said, ”We both have found something we are passionate about” and jointly urged passage of HCR12 to honor Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer and star of Hamilton.
The resolution also urges teachers to use the Hamilton cast album ”when possible and age-appropriate” to help teach American history.
Among highlights of the resolution's playful wording:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein, are not "throwin' away [our] shot" to express our gratitude to Lin-Manuel Miranda, sir, and recognize that Utah, America, and the world "has its eyes on you" for your exemplary contributions to the arts and education by "placing [us all] in the narrative" of our rich American history with Hamilton, the man and the musical.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor encourage teachers, when possible and age-appropriate, to utilize the Hamilton soundtrack [sic] to "lay a strong enough foundation" in American history in today's students and "[they'll] blow us all away."
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor encourage artists and all citizens of the state and the nation to make full use of their talents and tell the stories of "America, you great unfinished symphony, you sent for me. You let me make a difference...A place where even orphan immigrants can leave their fingerprints and rise up."
Here is a Twitter clip of the reading of the resolution:
It isn't all feel-good, however, another senator, Republican Margaret Dayton, said she plans to vote against the resolution because of adult words and situations in the lyrics. ”It could encourage young children to listen to inappropriate songs," the paper said.