It’s been a strange few months for America. With issues with police, guns, hate crimes and homegrown terrorism flying off the charts, people aren’t feeling too brave in their homes. It’s then no small comfort to have a topical musical emerge reminding us of the origins of the Statue of Liberty- at least, the ideological origins. Regardless of whether the musical is historically accurate (and no one would lay claim to that), it brings up several key points about these united states we live in. We are, first and foremost, a nation of immigrants. Current electoral debate has people questioning whether that needs to stay our top priority.
The songs aren’t really that catchy, is the thing. Aside from “Charity Tango”, none of them really stay stuck in your head. The play is more preachy than anything else, and in a different time when core American values weren’t being challenged in the media on the daily, no one would care. “Liberty” lucked out in its release, in that despite its lead’s lack of raw talent (replaced as much as possible by training) and numerous plot holes, its message will resonate with those who go to watch.
The play doesn’t have a real conflict- just clashing ideas. And isn’t that how politics is working out right now? Everything’s theoretical, but it all comes down to a few core values. The Statue of Liberty offers up refuge to anyone coming in-something migrants and other current refugees would be shocked to hear is true. Something perhaps politicians aren’t aware of nowadays. Like it or not, we have an obligation to the people in this country and out of it. When we set ourselves up as a nation, we knew what we were getting into. Immigration is our legacy- and it cannot become irrelevant to our future.
If only, if only that lead could sing.