As Americans celebrate our 241st Fourth of July, it’s bracing to realize that the most patriotic new show on Broadway is “Come From Away,” a musical about Canada.
But American patriotism on Broadway is not just a thing of the past, in musicals such as George M and Will Rogers Follies. Several current Broadway shows offer their own patriotic moments, albeit filtered through the 21st century. Excerpts below
Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton
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
I’m running out of time, I’m running and my time’s up Wise up
A group of World War II veterans who’ve formed into a band rebel against the sponsors of a song contest
All they want to do is
use our uniforms and wave us around like flags. We’re not props, Donny. We’re not for sale. We’ve already given them everything we got. We’re goddamn United States veterans, and these people wouldn’t know real sacrifice if it slapped ’em in the face.
The Schuyler sisters in Hamilton
I’ve been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine. So men say that I’m intense or I’m insane.
You want a revolution? I wanna revelation
so listen to my declaration
“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.”
And when I meet Thomas Jefferson… I’m a compel him to include women in the sequel.
Look around look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!
History is happening in Manhattan and we
Just happen to be in the greatest city in the world
Emilio Estefan in On Your Feet
(A record company executive has just told him to change his name and his music in order to “cross over” outside “the Latin market”)
When I first got to Miami there was a sign in front of the apartment building next to ours. It said, “No Pets. No Cubans.” Change my name? It’s not my name to change. It’s my father’s name. It was my grandfather’s name. My grandfather, who we left behind in Cuba to come here and build a new life. Now, for 15 years I’ve worked my ass off and paid my taxes. So, I’m not sure where you think I live… but this is my home. And you should look very closely at my face, because whether you know it or not… this is what an American looks like. We’ll do it on our own.
Dawn in Waitress
Dawn is talking with her fellow waitresses about her personal profile for a dating site
Dawn: “Ecstatically alive, enthusiastically American, dynamic and witty, I am a woman of many passions, including a rare turtle collection. I love the History Channel.
Jenna: Now that’s nice
Dawn: Note: I have played Betsy Ross in 33 Revolutionary War Reenactments.”
Jenna: ….Okay…. That’ll set you apart from the crowd –
Dawn: I’m calling myself “NewDawnRising.”
Ogie in Waitress
Ogie has responded to Dawn’s profile.
Ogie: So I’ll pick you up on Sunday at 7?
Ogie: Maybe! Maybe! There’s a reading at Rainard Park of the Federalist Papers.
Dawn: How do you know about that?
Ogie: I played Paul Revere in 42 Revolutionary War re-enactments. Well actually, 40 times technically I was the standby Revere but 2 times Paul was out – so I did actually play it, although one of those times I got injured halfway through, I had a bayonet issue– fell off my horse and had to have my spleen removed.
Dawn: “One if by land, two if by sea…”
Ogie: “…and I on the opposite shore will be!”
Helena Rubinstein gets back in the cosmetics game
This is the time to reach my goal.
My American moment. I hereby take a vow.
I vow to win the heart and soul
Of American women. This is my mission now.
I’ll show them they have faces of power and resplendence,
a backbone and a basis
to assert their independence.
When they achieve their rightful role, their American moment, equal and adored, that American moment
will be my reward.
Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden make the most of war-time rationing during World War II
Through thick and thin, Manila to Berlin!
Or helping defend our freedom from “the enemy within” –
America will make it!
No enemy can break it!
With make-up made to take it on the chin!
Necessity is the mother of invention!
Brains and brawn! Brains and brawn! Dusk to dawn! Women win!
When the whistles blow
And the cymbals crash
And the sparklers light the sky
I’m gonna raise the roof
I’m gonna carry on
Give me an old trombone
Give me an old baton
Before the parade passes by!