Hamilton premieres on Disney+


Hamilton on Disney+ Picture by Lilly Noble

Watching Hamilton on Broadway is an experience that begins the moment you take a step out of your hotel lobby. Walking on the streets, you can hear taxi cab horns blaring back and forth at each other while a myriad of rainbow screens illuminate Time Square. Upon arriving at Richard Rodgers Theatre, you are greeted by a familiar gold sign hanging above the door. In the center lies the black star, its top point made by the one and only Alexander Hamilton’s silhouette. Watching Hamilton on Disney+, however, is an experience that begins the moment that the streaming service loads on your screen.

Hamilton is a musical that follows the life of an often-overlooked Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton. By using innovative musical methods such as hip hop, R&B, pop, and soul music performed by a cast of mostly minority actors as the Founding Fathers and other historical figures, the musical puts a fresh take on the biography of the politician.

Hamilton airing on Disney+ has made it possible for people to watch one of Broadway’s biggest hits at home for a fraction of the cost. Not only is a Disney+ subscription a slim $6.99 per month, but you are also not paying for the airfare or hotel costs of visiting New York.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Broadway decided to halt performances until at lease January 3, 2021, meaning that even if you were able to make it to New York today, you would not be able to watch a performance on Broadway.

In a live setting you are enveloped in a sort of magic that the theater presents. Sitting in the same room as the actors, the sound of their voices can travel directly from their lips to your ears. In the purest sense, this is the only way you can see Hamilton in live time, but not everyone can afford the steep Broadway ticket prices. Furthermore, unless you had the opportunity to see Hamilton in 2015, the actors are not from the original cast. Any actor on Broadway, though, is extremely talented and while watching the musical in New York in June 2019, the thought that I was not watching the original cast never crossed my mind. 

Although I had already seen Hamilton, on July 3, I sat down on my couch to see if the recorded version of the musical could do the musical justice. I was pleasantly surprised by the crystal clear audio and sweeping camera work that was used. By seeing the performance from occasional above views and close up camera shots, I noticed things I had never seen before! 

Since it began streaming, many individuals have published on social media the minute details they have noticed on the film. Others have recorded their emotional reaction to the end of the 2 hour and 40 minute production. The Hamilton movie version was originally scheduled to hit theaters in October 2021, but its online debut was pushed forward due to the pandemic. If you are interested in history, musical theater, or just bored due to quarantine, I definitely recommend taking 3 hours of your time to watch Hamilton.