‘Hamilton’ coming to Disney+, July 3
Written by Nalini Deonarine on July 3, 2020
With nearly sixty awards as an ensemble, people haven’t yet stopped singing the praises for Hamilton: An American Musical. The broadway show had been touring all around North America, and had plans to expand to Germany and Australia before the global pandemic. Due to these circumstances, however, the original broadway production of the musical is set to make its streaming debut on July 3, exclusively on Disney+.
The play tells the story of American Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton, through original musical arrangements that were written and composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Inspired by an autobiography of the titular character, Miranda set out to detail the rise and fall of Hamilton on-stage. The show makes use of multiple music genres–including rap, jazz, R&B and hip-hop–to modernize the historical events. Perhaps the most unique aspect of Miranda’s production, however, are the actors.
‘Hamilton’ is said to be about “America then, as told by America now”. In each production, the cast of the show is made up of predominantly non-white actors who play the historical figures. From the Original Broadawy Production, Miranda himself is of Puerto Rican descent; Phillipa Soo (Eliza Schuyler Hamilton) has a Chinese and European background; and Okieriete Onaodowan (Hercules Mulligan/James Madison) has parents from Nigeria. Other characters such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Aaron Burr are all also played by actors of mixed descents.
A film adaptation of the musical had been in talks for years, but few developments have been made on that front. In 2016, a performance featuring the original cast was filmed and the distribution rights were bought by Walt Disney Studios in 2020. This performance was set to hit theatres in October, 2021, but arrangements were made to have it released on Disney’s subscription streaming service on July 3. This date was chosen so people around the world could celebrate the revolutionary musical just in time for the Fourth of July weekend.