Disney+ subscribers wait in the wings for ‘Hamilton’

Broadway hit’s popularity remains at all-time high and reaches new fans



Leslie Odom Jr. (left) and Lin-Manuel Miranda star in “Hamilton,” available on Disney+ now.

Natalee Stinebiser, Assistant Editor

After sitting in quarantine for months on end, many of us were running out of things to do. With the shutdown mandates around the country, people were growing restless sitting in their homes all day.
Many industries felt the impact of the novel COVID-19 pandemic, including the Broadway industry — which nearly 13 million people attend yearly. Luckily for Broadway fans around the world, the “Hamilton” movie was released on Disney+ on July 3.
The movie was originally supposed to be released in October 2021. However, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer of “Hamilton,” decided to drop it sooner and in a timely manner — between the coronavirus pandemic, a divided political landscape and social unrest exploding around the globe.
For those who have not heard of it, “Hamilton” is a musical that blends hip-hop, R&B and Broadway genres to tell a story about one of the founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton.
Hamilton was the embodiment of the American dream given that he was an immigrant who came from nothing and eventually worked his way up to build the foundations of the United States of America.
Experiencing the musical is quite literally like watching and listening to a musical version of a history book. And the drama not only talks about the American Revolution and the founding of the United States, but it also tells us about Hamilton’s personal life, from his affair, his feuds with enemies Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson and the death of his son.
“Hamilton” runs for 160 minutes and includes 46 different songs that are split up between two acts. Every song of the musical plays an important role in the structure of the movie.
The opening number, “Alexander Hamilton,” paints an extremely detailed backstory for Hamilton himself, from the loss of his family to his eventual arrival to the states.
This really helps the viewers to be able to understand the context of the story clearly. Fast forward a few songs to “Helpless,” which covers Hamilton and his wife, Elize Schyler, meeting for the first time and eventually getting married. “Wait For It,” my personal favorite, is one of the musical’s most powerful numbers.
It is performed by Aaron Burr and perfectly illustrates the frustrations and bitterness that he feels toward Hamilton. Throughout the musical, there are three different songs that are performed by King George III (“You’ll Be Back,” “What Comes Next” and “I Know Him”) that help to provide comedic relief for the show and remind the audience of Britain’s role in the American Revolution and the founding of the United States.
“Burn,” performed by Eliza, delivers the pain and betrayal that she felt when news about her husband’s infidelity came to light. The closing number of the musical, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” tells the audience of all of Hamilton’s sacrifices and accomplishments throughout his life.
Of course, the movie is nothing like experiencing a live theatrical performance —but it is pretty close.
The close-ups and camera movements help to enhance the performers’ charisma and add a dimension of intimacy that would have been lost from the stage to our televisions.
If you have free time any time soon, make sure to squeeze in time to watch “Hamilton: An American Musical” on Disney+.

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