Step inside a 360-degree view of rehearsals for the musical "Soft Power" at New York's one-and-only New 42nd Street Studios.

Before, if you wanted to see — for example — Alexander Hamilton's letters to his wife, you had to travel to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and even then, you'd have to view them on microfilm. Now, Julie Miller, the library's curator of early American manuscripts, says the collection has been digitized. "The web site is meant to open these up to a much broader public," and given the increased interest in Hamilton, the timing is no accident.

Canada is having a rare moment on Broadway — “Come From Away,” a musical written by a married Canadian couple, set in Newfoundland and celebrating Canadian decency, has just opened at the Schoenfeld Theater. The show was already drawing an unusually high number of Canadian ticket-buyers, even before this week, when it hit the apotheosis of Canadianness: The country’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, attended with a group of 600 allies and diplomats.

The United States turned to cultural diplomacy on Tuesday to push gay rights at the United Nations by taking 15 U.N. ambassadors, including those from Russia, Gabon and Namibia, to see an award-winning lesbian musical on Broadway.

The hip-hop musical based on the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton got its start with playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2009 performance of the then-in-the-works “Hamilton Mixtape” at the White House and has evolved into a global phenomenon. [...] In a time of uncertain power shifts in a changing global order, Hamilton quietly asserts America’s best qualities without glossing over the worst, sending a message of optimism about the country’s future. It thus has the potential to further American ideological appeal among foreign audiences.

A scene from the musical Hamilton

The soft power potential of "Hamilton."