The original cast members from “Hamilton” kicked off Super Bowl LI on Sunday with a powerful feminist message.
Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones, the hit Broadway musical’s original Schuyler sisters, reunited on the field for “America the Beautiful.”
The singers were already slaying it with impeccable harmonies and high notes when they reached the song’s last line, “And crown thy good with brotherhood / From sea to shining sea!”
Then, they added the word “sisterhood” after brotherhood, and the crowd went wild — in Houston and on social media.
The feminist twist on a classic American hit the right note in an era of women’s marches and other acts of solidarity with women. Just two weeks ago, millions worldwide took to the streets calling for equitable treatment of women and other marginalized groups.
As journalist Jodi Kantor put it, “Hey can we just make like the Schuyler sisters and change the words permanently?”
Others applied a political filter to the lyric, especially with Vice President Mike Pence at the game (remember what happened the last time he attended a “Hamilton” performance?) and memories of US President Donald Trump’s alleged sexist behavior still looming large in America’s consciousness. Technically, the performers were not wearing pantsuits, but their choice of jumpsuits reminded some of Hillary Clinton’s pantsuit nation.
To quote Los Angeles Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke, “The ‘Hamilton’ singers’ insertion of word “Sisterhood” into “America the Beautiful” was [Super Bowl’s] first shot across bow of current administration.”
For others, including “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and model-actress Chrissy Teigen, it was simply enough to repeat the word for effect: “Sisterhood.”
Then came Lady Gaga’s halftime show.