Finally, after years of waiting you can finally see Hamilton: An American Musical! Even more importantly, you can enjoy the Broadway smash hit from the comfort of your own home thanks to Disney+. The streaming service released Hamilton just in time for the Fourth of July weekend, so get ready to reignite your obsession with this epic reimagining of Alexander Hamilton's story.
If you weren't one of the lucky few people who were able to see the Broadway production or any of the touring shows, this might be your first real introduction to the musical and the 10 dollar founding father. This article will help you figure out everything you need to know not only about the production, but helpful guides for listening to the soundtrack, bonus moments, and more.
Back in 2016, the original Broadway cast of Hamilton: An American Musical filmed the show on stage in the Richards Rodgers Theatre and then shelved that recording for safekeeping until they were ready to release it. The plan was to give the movie a theatrical release in 2021, but due to the outbreak of COVID-19, which has led to more people staying home in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines, the powers that be decided to drop the film over a year early on Disney+.
Who is the cast?
As stated previously. the Disney+ film is a filmed version of the stage musical. So if you're wondering who is playing Alexander Hamilton and his revolutionary contemporaries, it is the original Broadway production cast of Hamilton, which includes Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr, Christopher Jackson as George Washington, Jonathan Groff as King George, Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton, Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds, Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, and Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton.
Hamilton: An American Musical is a sung-through production, which means essentially the entire show is the soundtrack. If you're having trouble keeping up with the historical facts, figures, and dates flying at you at lightning speed thanks to the cast's rapid rap skills, don't worry. The soundtrack is available for purchase anywhere you purchase your digital music, as well as available to stream on Spotify and YouTube. TV Guide recommends familiarizing yourself with the soundtrack before diving into the musical.
Moments missing from the soundtrack
There are two key moments in the stage production that were not included in the original Broadway cast recording of the soundtrack. The first is the moment in "Dear Theodosia" when Hamilton finds out that John Laurens was killed in South Carolina by British troops who were unaware that the Revolutionary War was over. The second is Eliza's scream at the end of "Stay Alive - Reprise" Miranda wanted those moments to be felt by a live audience — and now they can be felt in living rooms across the globe! Additionally, to be streamed on the Disney streaming service, two of the show's three f-bombs were censored to lower the movie's rating to PG-13, and thus "appropriate viewing" for younger viewers. There are a few other things to look out for in the show if you have only listened to the soundtrack before watching the Disney+ presentation.
Bonus tracks and the mixed tape
Trying to encapsulate a whole life into a two and a half hour musical that also tackles the creation of the nation's bank and the creation of American democracy is kind of difficult. Needless to say, there are almost a dozen songs that Miranda penned that didn't make into the final production of the show. Many of those songs can be found on the "Hamilton Mixtape" (which also features revised versions of songs that did make it into the production), but here's a guide to all of the cut songs and when it makes sense to listen to them within the context of the show soundtrack.
Hamilton is now streaming on Disney+.