Musical sensation “Hamilton” released digitally on Disney+


Felix Mooneeram

Photo of an empty theatre

Hamilton has, for many years, been insanely popular. Since it’s official release to the public on September 25, 2015, the musical has gained a large and loyal fanbase, spanning across entire families, classrooms, and internet communities. Due to its complex and impressive lyricism, Hamilton took the world by storm, with more than two and a half million people flocking to theaters across the country to witness it. Due to the high demand, though, many avid fans were not able to see it in person – that is, until July 3rd of this year, when it was released on Disney+ for all to watch.

The scriptwriter, musician, and lyricist behind the whole operation is Lin Manuel Miranda, who got the idea of creating the beloved musical after reading a biography about the titular founding father. The digital release of the musical was in July, and it has caused another resurgence of popularity. And with this resurgence, a question: Does the digital release compare to the live show? 

One of the most obvious differences between the two would be how the stage is viewed. The live show has a viewer looking from one angle the entire time, whereas the digital show has complex camera angles, close-ups, and unique angles impossible to get live. So… which one is better? Well, to be honest, there is not really a better one. In just the same way that some people prefer the grandeur of a movie theatre over the comforts of streaming services on the couch, the amount of enjoyment you get out of both the Hamilton formats really depends on you. Do you like dressing up for the theatre, seeing the actors’ faces in real time, and the interactivity of being in a crowd, or do you prefer being able to snuggle up in a blanket with snacks to accompany your viewing? The same subjectivity stands with every other aspect as well – audio is clearer digitally, but doesn’t feel as “natural” as it would in person. It depends on you. Either way, watching it digitally is way more accessible and affordable, so more and more people will be seeing it from that perspective, including myself. Due to the infamous exclusivity of seeing the show in person, though, I’m sure I wouldn’t be alone in wanting to go.

The musical itself is fantastic. It is very well written, and a large part that I very much appreciate are the motifs – they are what Hamilton is known for. There are too many motifs to count – “Wait for it”, “Satisfied”, and “My shot” are a few examples, and the thoughtful use of repetition within these, as well as many other songs, makes for great ties to emotions associated with each motif, without creating a sense of monotony. The singers are also all very talented – each one is able to provide a good standalone performance, enhanced greatly by the overall contributions of the cast. The choreography is also exceptional, and the talented dancers are all able to contribute to the emotional tone of each performance.

Hamilton is no stranger to praise – it has received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, A Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album,  Eleven Tony awards, and a seemingly infinite amount of online applause. People love Hamilton, so there’s a good chance you will too, if you haven’t already seen it. I give it a 4.5/5. It’s fun, witty, emotional, impressive, and everything in between. If you like musicals, theatre, or anything of the sort, you’ll definitely find an appreciation for Hamilton. Even if you have none of those interests, like me, you’ll probably still like it.