Disney+ releases a taped version of Broadway’s hit show: Hamilton

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Photos by Emma Grace Lehmann

A Hamilton playbill is held up in front of the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City

Emma Grace Lehmann, Features Assistant Editor

Hamilton, Broadway’s most sought after ticket, was released on Disney+ in movie form over the summer. Despite the original release date of Oct. 15, 2021, the filmed production debuted on screens worldwide July 3, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the two and a half hour long film, actors including Lin Manuel Miranda (who wrote and created the musical), Phillipa Soo, Leslie Odem Junior and many others tell the stories of our founding fathers through rap. 

“If I were to describe Hamilton in one sentence, it would be something along the lines of, ‘It is a primarily hip hop musical about the forgotten founding father Alexander Hamilton that involves a torrid affair, love triangle, and a deadly rivalry with a few f-bombs thrown in (even though all but one were edited out for Disney +)’,” said Peyton Joyner. “Even then, Hamilton goes beyond that in ways that I think only Lin Manuel Miranda himself can describe.” 

After its off-broadway premiere in 2015, Hamilton soon moved to Broadway and quickly became a household name. Following a successful Broadway opening, Hamilton productions opened in Chicago and London, and three different touring casts took to the road to share Alexander Hamilton’s story across the nation. Now, raising the Disney Plus download rates 74%, Hamilton has continued to make a name for itself with this movie.

“I saw the show a few years back on Broadway but I was excited because now I would be able to see their exact facial expressions throughout the show along with being able to notice the smaller things that you wouldn’t have been able to recognize when seeing it live,” said Joyner.

Given the high ticket prices, and overall hype surrounding this production, many fans have waited anxiously for a movie version. The taping of this show was done over three days in 2016, back when the original Broadway cast was still performing. These days included two live performances and one performance without an audience to get up close shots of the actors. 

“I think it boosted the morale of theater lovers everywhere because we hadn’t had theater in so long and that those who couldn’t afford to see the show to begin with were especially grateful,” said Lauren Evancho, senior.

Although Hamilton is not the first Broadway production to be filmed, with its high position on the theatre food chain, many people are speculating this to be the start of a ‘musical to movie’ trend. And, this theory seems to be proving correct, as it was recently announced that a filmed production of Diana: A New Musical will be gracing the eyes of Netflix watchers in 2021. 

  “I think that Hamilton certainly sets an example and hopefully there will be many more musicals to come on TV,” said Evancho.