Arts & Entertainment

Disney’s Hamilton Did Not Throw Away its Shot

by Abby Koch – A recorded stage performance of Hamilton was released early to the Disney Plus streaming service on Friday. Hamilton is a delight from beginning to end and satisfies musical cravings anyone has currently. 

The two hour and 40-minute performance on the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, based off of the Ron Chernow biography. Hamilton premiered at the Public Theatre in early 2015 before moving to the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway soon after. The show would receive 11 Tony Awards in 2016, including Best Musical.

The released performance was recorded back in 2016 and features the original cast. With this performance, some of the language has been censored by Disney Plus.

Hamilton follows the life of Alexander Hamilton, played by Miranda. The first half of the musical follows the events of the Revolutionary War and the fight for independence. This half also establishes the dynamic between Hamilton and Aaron Burr, Hamilton’s climb in the ranks, and Hamilton’s marriage to Eliza Schuyler. 

The second half of Hamilton follows the construction of a nation and ratifying of the U.S. Constitution. This half also tells the events that lead Hamilton to write the Reynolds Pamphlet, the death of Phillip Hamilton, and ending with the duel between Hamilton and Burr.

The Disney release of Hamilton gives theatre junkies a ticket to the show. The recording of the show definitely does a great job of getting the full experience, making you feel like a part of the audience. For those who haven’t seen the show live, it enhances everything that is enjoyable about listening to the Hamilton soundtrack.

Miranda’s telling of Hamilton’s journey from immigrant to founding father is a delight, despite some historical changes and inaccuracies. Miranda establishes triumph and tragedy throughout the entire show using hip hop music. The story will stay with audiences for a long time due to the themes that are noted in the show.

Everyone brings their own quirks to their performance, making certain parts more humous or gut wrenching than listening to the soundtrack. All of the cast members are energetic and sharp from beginning to end. Their performance is a prime example of what makes theatre so great.

The music shines in this performance and transitions seamlessly between songs. The live rap performances will get audiences pumped up and the R&B will make you sway. The live musicians’ performances, just like the actors, enhance the experience of Hamilton.

My only minor complaint about Hamilton is not really setting up a camera angle to catch performances on the elevated platform on the back of the stage. I could see that some of the major characters were doing something important in the back, but the cameras weren’t catching it.

Hamilton’s themes and music from the show are powerful and will be on repeat with anyone that streams it. The cast in this performance are at their absolute best and deliver a memorable show. Hamilton is a must for anyone that enjoys theatre, music, or American history.

Hamilton on Disney Plus gets 9.5/10 founding fathers. 

July 6, 2020