Hamilton is on Disney+ but how does it compare?

3 Jul 2020

If there's one thing that I was most excited about during quarantine it was the release of Hamilton on Disney+! I'm a musical theatre being, I was raised on Julie Andrews and Doris Day and since then I love nothing more than listening to musical cast albums, watching musicals either in film format or in the theatre and even starring in musicals. So for my 19th birthday, I got tickets to see Hamilton when it opened in the West End. It's so popular that I booked the tickets in January 2017 but didn't end up actually attending until February 2018 on my 20th birthday!

First of all What is Hamilton? Just in case you've been living under a rock and haven't heard of Hamilton it is a musical based on the story of one of the founding fathers of the United States, Alexander Hamilton. Sounds riveting right! Hamilton is unique in that it borrows very heavily from hip-hop and RnB music as well as having traditional show tunes sprinkled throughout it. It also features a non-white cast telling a very white story! The original Broadway production won 11 Tony Awards including Best Musical and the London production (the one that I saw) won 7 Olivier Awards also including Best Musical. The cast recording even won a Grammy and made it up as far as number 3 on the Billboard top 200 so as you can see it's a bit of a phenomenon.

When I went to see the show I already knew the entire cast album so it took every ounce of self-control not to sing along but I was so in awe of the production quality that I just pretty much sat there in amazement for most of the time! This is up there with those moments of my life that I sometimes just forget happened - like maybe I was in a parallel universe or something even though I have the pictures to prove that I was actually there!

Obviously in the current environment, with the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of theatres and those in the arts industry are really struggling and this article from London Theatre Direct gives lots of ways in which you can support the theatre industry during this time!

But how did the Disney+ recording compare to actually seeing the show live? Obviously, nothing can truly compare to seeing live theatre and a lot of the actual experience of seeing a show in real life is missing but for anyone who fell in love with the show through the original cast album it is truly such an exciting experience to see the whole show in high definition with the original cast and the spirit of Hamilton is very much present. I urge you if you haven't seen it already, to go and watch it because while nothing will compare to seeing the show live, seeing a live recording of the original cast comes very close!

Have you watched Hamilton yet? On Disney+ or in real life? If so what was your favourite part, what are you most excited to see in the Disney+ recording?

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