So a little disclaimer about this review, I’ve technically seen and reviewed the stage play musical, HAMILTON, when it came to Dallas a little bit ago. Posted it right here on this blog in fact. So this first paragraph is just going to be me saying how the experience was while watching it on Disney+ and then I’m copying and pasting my old review of the content of the stage play. So if you already read that part of it way back when, other than this intro, you aren’t getting anything new. HOWEVER, if you’ve seen Hamilton on stage, and were on the fence about watching it again on your screen at home, mainly because you didn’t think it could re create the same magic, think again. This is the first required viewing, in my opinion, of something on Disney+ since The Mandalorian debuted last year. You get the original Broadway cast here, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, the works. Their acting and showmanship are different than the off Broadway cast (not better or worse), and it feels fresh seeing different faces for sure. It’s still the same amazing play, but up close and personal. They didn’t just set a camera in front of the stage and film a live original performance. There’s different camera angles, close ups, fade in and outs, dissolves, putting you right smack dab in the middle of their performance as if you were standing with them on stage. So even if you’ve seen THE ORIGINAL MUSICAL WITH THE ORIGINAL CAST, this is still worth checking out. It’s a completely different experience, fresh even if you’ve listened to everything so much you can rap out lyric by lyric, word by word. This is one of the best musicals of all time. So you know Hollywood will one day, when it’s back up and running, try to make an epic of it on decorated sound stages and location shootings, and they could either knock it out of the park, or it could end up being another…Cats **shiver**. Let’s not think about that right now. The only really complaint I have is I wished they had filmed it without an audience…but then again maybe it wouldn’t have been as good of a performance? To be fair, it wasn’t as distracting as actually being there with a live audience, they never show the audience and the cheering was really short and cut off between small breaks into the next scene. Without further ado, my older review of Hamilton when I saw it with the off Broadway cast in Dallas not too long ago:
So the Broadway touring of HAMILTON is in Texas, and since it is the most buzzed about play since The Book of Mormon, obviously it peaked my interest (the next one to do that might be Harry Potter and The Cursed Child). And since I’m seeing less movies in the theaters nowadays, I thought I could write a short review on my thoughts. Is it worth the hype and all the awards it has won? Absolutely. And now other than The Book of Mormon, it would definitely be a play I could see multiple times and neither feel bored and I’d also feel like I got my money’s worth. Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a masterpiece. Nothing short of greatness.
Hamilton is about the life of Alexander Hamilton. But everything is either sung or rapped, incorporates R&B, pop, soul, hip hop, show tunes, and also casts color-consciously of non-white actors as historical figures. The play starts out with his early life as an orphan throughout just the intro song and then we go into straight into adulthood to his tragic death. The play is in two acts, and I don’t think there is a word spoken that isn’t sung. But everything works so perfectly well. Apparently it took Miranda years to write it and do perfect the songs, perfect every single note, and it shows. It is one of the most intricate things I’ve ever heard, so much so that, like Book of Mormon, might be finding and buying the CD to it. Every song is great and catchy, and there are absolutely no lag moments in the play. My favorite part? Probably like a lot of people, I do enjoy when King George III takes the stage.
The stage itself is pretty standard. It consists of a lot of wood and stairs and rope, and then some fake brick to look like old buildings. And it doesn’t change. Not that its a bad thing at all, in fact, I would’ve be shocked if it had been any more intricate because it would’ve taken even longer to get the product out to audiences around the world. One thing that is a little unique about the stage is that it rotates in the middle constantly to convey movement, and is very impressive when mixed in with the choreography to song and dance numbers. As for the acting? It is all impressive. I didn’t take a Playbill from the April 28th, 2019 showing, but if you were one of the actors/dancers in the play, you did a tremendous job. Especially the leads like Hamilton and Burr, the way they could memorize all those songs, movements, and words and make it look like another walk in the part is nothing short of masterful.
So if you are on the fence about seeing this, why? Don’t be. It’s amazing and truly a thing that should be on your bucket list. Whether you are a history buff or even scoff at history, there is something in this play for everyone to enjoy. The play is 2 hours and 55 minutes (including a 15 minute intermission) but you could’ve fooled me, the time just whizzes by extremely fast. If this is the one thing that Lin Manuel-Miranda is remembered by, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. If there is real magic on the planet, this Broadway play is the closest that it gets to seeing is believing.