Some college students spend their free time hanging out on the quad, joining a club, or partying. Others rewrite an entire Broadway hip-hop musical to center on a failed Republican presidential nominee. At least that’s the case for the group of about 17 college students who collaborated on Jeb! The Musical, an insanely detailed Hamilton parody about everyone’s favorite political punching bag, Jeb Bush. And by “insanely detailed” we mean a 70-page Google doc containing every single Hamilton lyric rewritten to reference Jeb Bush’s disastrous campaign.
Donald Trump is cast as the Aaron Burr-like rival while Ted Cruz plays the Thomas Jefferson role. George W. Bush serves as his brother’s George Washington-esque mentor, and—unexpectedly—Marco Rubio is cast as Jeb Bush’s “son” who is taken down not by a duel, but by repeating the same line five times during a debate. The musical fits in an impressive number of references to the events of the campaign including that awkward debate entrance, those infamous guacamole bowls, that weird gun tweet, the “please clap” moment, and, of course, the decision to brand himself as “Jeb!” Even a cursory glance at the Google doc reveals some impressive internal rhymes that would surely make Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda proud.
AM New York interviewed the 17 creators behind the project. It turns out they attend schools all over the country and are majoring in everything from English and music to molecular and cell biology. The collaborators—who have never actually met in person—first brainstormed the idea on a Facebook meme group. They then used a Google doc to create the parody lyrics and wrote and refined their show over the course of a month or so.
In a joint interview, the creators explained:
The fact that we were able to so easily find analogies and similarities between Lin-Manuel Miranda’s story of the American Revolution and the “Devolution” of today’s Republican Primary was rather startling, and shows that maybe the politics of America’s birth and today aren’t so different. The viciousness, entertaining personalities and general craziness of this election season collectively make for great theater.
They also hope their musical helps people see a “softer, more sensitive side to Jeb” and note that while they don’t necessarily believe in his politics, they have a “sincere love for him.” At the moment they don’t have any plans to actually perform the show, but for updates you can follow the Jeb! The Musical Twitter account and Facebook page.