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1440 Guide to ‘Hamilton’

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1440 Guide to ‘Hamilton’

One of the biggest streaming debuts ever drops this weekend as “Hamilton,” a film version of the stage musical, premieres on Disney Plus

Walt Disney Studios paid $75M for worldwide distribution rights for the movie, which was filmed with the original Broadway cast over a three-day period in June 2016.  It was originally slated for an October 2021 release. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the release date was pushed up. “Hamilton” will now debut on Disney Plus Friday, July 3, 2020.

You can check out the official trailer here:



 

‘Hamilton’ 101

At 1440, we pride ourselves in providing an impartial view of what’s happening in the world so our readers can form their own conclusions. We’re breaking that rule for “Hamilton.” It’s just that good. 

“Hamilton: An American Musical,” written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is a Broadway musical that tells the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton. The musical was inspired by Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography “Alexander Hamilton.”

The musical debuted on Broadway in 2015 and won 11 Tony Awards, including the award for Best Musical. 

The Characters

Due to the fast nature of the musical—it clocks a record 144 words per minute—we think it’s best to know a bit about the show before you watch it for the first time.

Miranda describes the musical as “America then, told by America now.” The show’s cast is made up of mostly actors of color to tell the story of America’s Founding Fathers. 

Let’s take a look at the principal cast of “Hamilton” and how they’re used to tell the remarkable story of the life of Alexander Hamilton.

Warning, some light spoilers are ahead: 

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(Act Two Only)(Act Two Only)(Act Two Only)(Act Two Only)

The Music

The soul of any musical is, of course, its music. This is especially true in “Hamilton.” “Hamilton” is a sung-through musical which means there’s no spoken dialogue. The conversations and dialogue all come via a phenomenal mix of genres including hip-hop, R&B, pop, and traditional show tunes. Not only did “Hamilton” win 11 Tonys, but it also won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album and peaked at no. 1 on the Billboard Rap Albums chart

The musical is jam-packed with 46 songs that fly at a blistering pace of 144 words a minute. There are a lot of memorable tunes that are sure to become Broadway classics, but let’s take a look at a few of our favorites:

“Alexander Hamilton” is the first song and introduction to the musical’s cast of characters. It tells the story of Alexander Hamilton’s childhood and eventual move to New York City. 

Renée Elise Goldsberry is an absolute tour de force, and she brings the character of Angelica Schuyler to life in “Satisfied.” The song tells the events that lead to Alexander Hamilton marrying Angelica’s sister Eliza, but this time Angelica rewinds time to tell the story from her perspective. 

One of Act Two’s best songs, “The Room Where It Happens” brings some jazz to the eclectic mix of music. Leslie Odom, Jr does a masterful job portraying Aaron Burr’s jealously and anger at being excluded from vital policy decisions. 

Some of our other favorite songs include:

Act One

“My Shot” 

“Wait for It”

“Non-Stop”

Act Two

“What’d I Miss”

“Burn”