By Olivia Sothoron
On July 3, 2020, the world-renowned musical “Hamilton,” written by Lin-Manuel Miranda–who also starred as Alexander Hamilton in the original cast–made its way to Disney+. Families across the globe gathered around their televisions, turning millions of living rooms into “The Room Where It Happened.”
“Hamilton: An American Musical” debuted on Broadway in 2016, and quickly rose to prominence with an allstar cast of Leslie Odom Jr., Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs and Jonathan Groff to name a few. The production was so successful on Broadway that other casts began performing in Chicago, Los Angeles, London and Australia. In addition, traveling casts tour across the country and make stops in various cities, bringing “Hamilton” to all corners of the nation.
On May 12, 2020, Miranda tweeted a statement announcing that the film version of “Hamilton” would be released on Disney+ on July 3, 2020. “Hamilton” was originally supposed to be released in movie theaters in October 2021, but with the pandemic, its release occurred over a year in advance. Bob Iger, Disney’s executive chairman stated in a press release, “In light of the extraordinary challenges facing our world, this story about leadership, tenacity, hope, love and the power of people to unite against the forces of adversity is both relevant and impactful.” Also, the release of “Hamilton” provided Disney+ with some new content to keep their customers subscribed, as well as encourage more people to pay for the streaming service.
The film production contains all of the performances, but some editing was required in order for it to be better suited to a younger audience. The main difference between the live performances and the film version was the removal of two curse words from the songs. Miranda wrote in a tweet that he literally “gave two f-cks so the kids could see it.”
Jackie Farnan (‘22) watched a performance of “Hamilton” on Broadway in 2018 and was supposed to see it at the Kennedy Center over the past summer, but all spring and summer productions were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Farnan stated, “I enjoyed seeing the original cast and being able to go back and watch it again and again, finding new and interesting things each time.” She also mentioned that she enjoyed being able to compare the film version to the Original Broadway Cast Recording with the same cast, and noticing the differences from the recording and the film.
As Farnan pointed out, one of the best parts of the film version was watching the original Broadway cast perform. Now, the original cast members have gone on to star in their own musicals, films and other productions, but Disney+ has brought Miranda’s original version to everyone. Farnan also noted that she enjoyed being able to see Miranda portray Hamilton, because he “plays such a raw version” of the character.
Disney+ has yet to state the planned removal date of “Hamilton” from its streaming service, so subscribers can continue to enjoy it. From Angelica Schuyler’s booming voice to the tear-jerking screams of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, “Hamilton” is something that you will want to watch “Nonstop.”