Hamilton (!!!!!!!!) (exclamations my own)

However much you thought I was looking forward to seeing Hamilton on Disney+, double it. Then cube it. Then add 10 000 more. Then halve it. Then times it by 13.24 million billion. Then you’d at least be within a three planet range of my excitement supernova.

Hamilton: the hit Broadway play that no one could ever get tickets to, and now you don’t have to! I mean, still do, if you haven’t already. There’s an electric current to a live performance that streaming can’t quite replicate – but this one sure comes the closest. This is not a film adaptation of a play, it is the stage performance itself, taped in front of a live audience, with so many cameras and angles and microphones even Lin-Manuel Miranda’s own mother can’t get seats this good.

Miranda disrupted Broadway with his follow-up to the very well-received In The Heights. Hamilton is a very old story told in a very fresh way. American founding father Alexander Hamilton is perhaps not the most enthusiastically remember by history, but Miranda gives just cause for his placements among the greats, and pays tribute to him with his own unique blend of culture, politics, and son. The actors portraying contemporaries such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are from diverse backgrounds, representative of today’s American population, and reflective of the period’s influx of immigrants. The costumes are relatively period-appropriate, with just a kiss of the modern to still feel true to the hip-hop-heavy numbers.

The original Broadway cast appears on stage, performing together one last time before many of them dispersed to other projects (the musical itself of course lives on, or it did before COVID darkened Broadway’s lights). This show was so electrifying that it blew up every single person in the cast – making the likes of Daveed Diggs, Anthony Ramos, Leslie Odom Jr., Jasmine Cephas Jones, and Renée Elise Goldsberry household names, or pretty near. Certainly they were the toast of Manhattan and all have continued to find fame and fortune beyond the shadow cast by Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda is chief among them of course, tapped by the folks at Disney to write songs for Moana, and to co-star in Mary Poppins Returns.

Disney was so exuberant about Hamilton that it paid a record-setting $75 million for its distribution rights, and set it for a fall 2021 release. However, COVID-19 reared its contagious head, shutting down stage and cinema alike. So Disney made the decision to bring Hamilton to the people, and Miranda made family viewing possible by sacrificing two of his 3 f-bombs (only half of one remains, the f word started and implied but not completed).

Hamilton is such startling and tasty treat it simply must be seen. Director Thomas Kail makes sure this film feels just as vital and urgent as any live performance. The actors, having rehearsed their roles on Broadway for an entire year before filming in 2016, are at the very tops of their game; besides Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo, Jonathan Groff, Daveed Diggs, Christopher Jackson, and Renee Elise Goldsberry all earned Tony nominations. Of its unprecedented 16 nominations, Hamilton won 11, including, of course, Best Musical. And it really is.

18 thoughts on “Hamilton (!!!!!!!!) (exclamations my own)

  1. badblokebob

    I’ve watched a few “live theatre” films during lockdown, and this one blows them all away — not just the quality of the original material (which is unimpeachable), but in the way it’s been handled as a filmed version.

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  2. leendadll

    I was one of the very lucky few who won a $10 ticket and saw the play from the front row. I’ve seen a lot of theater, including Carol Channing in Hello Dolly & Michael Crawford in Phantom. Hamilton BLEW ME AWAY!! I was planning to see it again but C19 hit on the opening night of its 2nd run in Hollywood. I was thrilled to watch it yesterday and expect to return to it often. I also loved that they used some of the song remixes during the credits.

    Side note: A weird bonus of the ticketed event was talking, in the women’s room, about how I could see singer’s spit-spray as they sang. I mentioned that whoever was supposed to be next to me didn’t show up. Some woman who had a ticket on Mezz level joked about wanting the seat. I waited for her and brought her down, so she saw the 2nd act from front row.

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      1. leendadll

        From the moment I heard about it, I knew I was going to win one. I was super confused when the Hollywood run ended and I hadn’t won! But then it started a run in San Diego, just over 100 miles away, so I kept entering. It was really fun to get the notice then freak out about when to leave the next morning cause the traffic can be so bad. It all went smoothly and I was even able to have a meal and cocktails before the show. I never looked at my ticket assignment and thought I’d be in the cheap seats. Imagine my shock when they directed me to front row!! The seats behind me sold for over $1700 each!!

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  3. Liz A.

    I’m hearing lots of good things about this, but alas, I don’t have Disney +. Nor am I planning to get it any time soon. This will have to wait.

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  4. theorangutanlibrarian

    I absolutely love Hamilton!! (I was lucky enough to see it in the west end shortly before covid). I do want to try Disney+ at some point, but considering making it sooner rather than later just so I can rewatch it. I love your line “Lin Manuel Miranda’s mother couldn’t get seats this good!” It makes me all the more eager to check this out!!

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  5. peggyatthemovies

    I truly hope that at some point they show it all over or do some type of release people like me who don’t have 2 more nickels to scrape together to get another subscription service can see it. It’s a bummer because I obviously never could afford the tickets to the play and now feel like I will never get to see something that sounds so amazing. Here is to hoping and I never give up on that! 🙂 great write up..I wish I had your skills of being able to write so amazing and so often! you rock! 🙂

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  6. Pingback: Hamilton Sitting Out 2021 Academy Awards – Cinema Gold

  7. hethrgood

    The hubs and I saw this performed live a couple of years ago. It’s definitely fresh, interesting, and very educational. It’s certainly a must-see and if it doesn’t get torpedoed from the BLM movement, it’ll become a classic, for sure.

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