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Hamilton - Disney+

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Gospvg set this this tread up soley to chat about Hamilton as it was clogging up the Disney+ tread. There's plenty of stuff already posted in there from this post onwards.

 

 

But if you are watching it for the first time (or third time in my case) then maybe we can keep the chat on it in here.

 

I never really used to be that into muscials (classic Disneys asside) but the last few years I've been loving them and this just topped them all. When its safe to do so I hope to one day go see the UK show. I'd love to see it live but also with a different cast to see the difference (cause lets face it LMM ain't the best singer)

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Don't need to see it, watched Weird Al's Hamilton Polka on YouTube instead...

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My housemate adores Hamilton [she's heavily into musicals, got addicted to its soundtrack as soon as it was available, and went to see it when it came to the West End], so I was already pretty familiar with it - I'd heard the Broadway Cast soundtrack a good few times over the years (in fact in recent months started actively listening to it while working from home as it's a bop), and broadly knew the plot (and gotten somewhat irked by its, er, 'softballing' of history). We watched it the night it came to Disney+, and...

 

So, the music's brilliant. That I was well aware of prior to seeing it, but it still elevates the musical, obviously enough. Lin-Manuel is a very talented songwriter - both lyrically and compositionally. I'm particularly fond of his use of complex, intertwined leitmotifs throughout the production.

 

The staging and costume work is also fabulous, making it a very enjoyable show to look at; which is just as well, because in terms of direction its, well, not the most dynamic of musicals. It does suffer a bit from 'stand in place and sing' syndrome, which is a shame. The singers give good face, thankfully, but it does feel a bit static at times (backing dancers notwithstanding).

 

I do also struggle with the actual content - it would benefit from a more critical eye. I appreciate the logic of softening the characters for a satisfying narrative, but on the whole it just feels overly flattering to a selection of characters who were, frankly, pretty seriously flawed, and already benefit from an awful lot of flattery in the way American history is taught. Which does rather seem to reflect Miranda's tendency to be a bit of a damp squib politically; despite evidently writing the role for himself, he's certainly not the firebrand he paints Hamilton to be. But still, I guess he's at least not Andrew "returns from abroad to vote for tax credit cuts" Lloyd Webber, so by musical creator standards he's doing pretty well!

 

But yeah, overall I had a good time watching it. Were it not quite so expensive to see live, I'd consider going to see it in Broadway - you know, assuming theatres ever reopen and public transport becomes safe to travel once again.

 

What I'd really like would be to see more profesionally filmed musicals* becoming available. Particularly given the currently, er, trying time for theatres. I'd been hoping to see Six (coincidentally another history retelling in musical form), but lockdown rather disrupted that plan; a recorded version in the same vein as this would be a very pleasant alternative.

 

*as opposed to musicals adapted into films, and/or restaged as per NBC's 'Live!' series, which are fine but not quite the same thing.

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25 minutes ago, Wiper said:

What I'd really like would be to see more profesionally filmed musicals* becoming available. Particularly given the currently, er, trying time for theatres. I'd been hoping to see Six (coincidentally another history retelling in musical form), but lockdown rather disrupted that plan; a recorded version in the same vein as this would be a very pleasant alternative.

 

*as opposed to musicals adapted into films, and/or restaged as per NBC's 'Live!' series, which are fine but not quite the same thing.

 

I wonder if the closure of theatres goes on any longer if they might indeed do this to sell online for streaming. If the cast and crew can get tested and go into the theatre and film the shows.

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Indeed. Of course, the frustrating thing is there are a good number of official recordings that already exist but are only available to see in person via physical archives; e.g. New York's Theatre on Film and Tape Archive.

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The trouble I have with that is that a live audience are such a key part of theatre. Without exception, every show I’ve ever done has lifted on the first night compared to rehearsals. It’s not just the adrenaline - whether doing comedy or drama, as a performer you take a lot from the audience reaction and modulate your performance accordingly. If you’re performing to an empty theatre and some cameras then I dunno, it becomes something else, neither theatre nor  film - are you acting for camera or for a (non-existent) audience?

 

I’m doing Macbeth over Zoom later this month and frankly I’m dreading it!

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45 minutes ago, Wiper said:

I'd been hoping to see Six (coincidentally another history retelling in musical form), but lockdown rather disrupted that plan; a recorded version in the same vein as this would be a very pleasant alternative.

 

Six are doing a drive-in tour later this summer if that's a possibility for you: https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/utilita-live-from-the-drive-in/six-the-musical-presale/

 

The wife and kids are going to see it at Leeds, I've already seen it a couple of times on the tour and that's enough for me I think. Given the kind of show it is, basically themed like a pop concert, it's one of the shows that might not be terrible to see this way?

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14 minutes ago, Death's Head said:

The trouble I have with that is that a live audience are such a key part of theatre. Without exception, every show I’ve ever done has lifted on the first night compared to rehearsals. It’s not just the adrenaline - whether doing comedy or drama, as a performer you take a lot from the audience reaction and modulate your performance accordingly. If you’re performing to an empty theatre and some cameras then I dunno, it becomes something else, neither theatre nor  film - are you acting for camera or for a (non-existent) audience?

 

I’m doing Macbeth over Zoom later this month and frankly I’m dreading it!

 

I did think that, even in Hamilton you can see the moments the actors are feeding off the crowd and their reactions. Specifically the likes of Jeffersons entrance and Washingtons swan song.

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34 minutes ago, wavey said:

 

Six are doing a drive-in tour later this summer if that's a possibility for you: https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/utilita-live-from-the-drive-in/six-the-musical-presale/

 

The wife and kids are going to see it at Leeds, I've already seen it a couple of times on the tour and that's enough for me I think. Given the kind of show it is, basically themed like a pop concert, it's one of the shows that might not be terrible to see this way?

 

Ooh, thanks for the heads up, I'd no idea about that! Might see if we can make the Lincoln or Birmingham shows; they should be about driveable assuming my housemate's amenable (pretty likely: she loves Six, and has been spending every Saturday learning the various dances as taught by Aimie Atkinson).

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Does this version have the bit when Hamilton comes on in the (opening?) number and says 'Alexander Hamilton' and the audience starts roaring for minutes and everyone on stage has to wait until they're done so they can start up the song again? I don't like that bit. 

 

Actually I've never seen Hamilton but I'm amusing myself now by imagining the audience breaking out into applause any time anyone says the title of the show. 

 

Also, if you want to see another professionally filmed version of a stage musical, have a look for Company on YouTube. There's are quite a few versions available but my favourite one is the Donmar warehouse version starring Adrian Lester. 

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13 minutes ago, Professor Puzzles said:

Does this version have the bit when Hamilton comes on in the (opening?) number and says 'Alexander Hamilton' and the audience starts roaring for minutes and everyone on stage has to wait until they're done so they can start up the song again?

 

No.

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I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

It's a bit of a shame that Lin Manuel-Miranda is by far the worst member of the cast. I means he's not dreadful and he's up against some amazing charismatic powerhouses, who've been given a prime gig, which they probably don't get the chance of often and are swinging for the fences. But still, we're constantly reminded that Hamilton is supposed to be this amazing guy with friends (and enemies) obsessed with him and multiple women swooning over him. However, Miranda's singing voice comes across a bit whiny and his performance overall comes across a bit:

 

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I kept imagining what it would have been like if the guy playing LaFayette/Jefferson was in the role instead.

 

Looking at the cast list afterwards I had a proper mind blown moment when I realised King George was the main guy from Mindhunter. While I'm on the subject of King George, there's a few close ups if him singing where I felt like I was watching the Doctor Who episode Waters of Mars.

 

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1 hour ago, Harsin said:

I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

It's a bit of a shame that Lin Manuel-Miranda is by far the worst member of the cast. I means he's not dreadful and he's up against some amazing charismatic powerhouses, who've been given a prime gig, which they probably don't get the chance of often and are swinging for the fences. But still, we're constantly reminded that Hamilton is supposed to be this amazing guy with friends (and enemies) obsessed with him and multiple women swooning over him. However, Miranda's singing voice comes across a bit whiny and his performance overall comes across a bit:

 

I kept imagining what it would have been like if the guy playing LaFayette/Jefferson was in the role instead.

 

Looking at the cast list afterwards I had a proper mind blown moment when I realised King George was the main guy from Mindhunter. While I'm on the subject of King George, there's a few close ups if him singing where I felt like I was watching the Doctor Who episode Waters of Mars.

 

Haha Lin Manuel Miranda's never had the widest range but he's doing his best!!

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

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Groff has claimed he just slobbers a lot when he sings, but I presumed it was to do with how Mad King George, who had such a condition which led to claims of him ‘foaming at the mouth’ in his later years. 
 

I would guess that was the original intention, but maybe they’re trying to row back a bit on it in recent times to avoid any negative publicity.

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3 hours ago, Professor Puzzles said:

Does this version have the bit when Hamilton comes on in the (opening?) number and says 'Alexander Hamilton' and the audience starts roaring for minutes and everyone on stage has to wait until they're done so they can start up the song again? I don't like that bit. 

 

Actually I've never seen Hamilton but I'm amusing myself now by imagining the audience breaking out into applause any time anyone says the title of the show. 

 

Also, if you want to see another professionally filmed version of a stage musical, have a look for Company on YouTube. There's are quite a few versions available but my favourite one is the Donmar warehouse version starring Adrian Lester. 

I saw that production back when it was on, and it was great. The best version of Company for my money Though is the Raúl Esparza one, which can also be found on YouTube. It’s just fantastic.

 

It’s indeed a real shame that more live recordings aren’t made available. The National’s version of Follies from the other year was spectacular, and filmed for cinema showing, but never made available online which is such a shame.

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I thought it was just a thing that happens with stage actors putting a lot of effort in.

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21 minutes ago, Bazjam said:

I saw that production back when it was on, and it was great. The best version of Company for my money Though is the Raúl Esparza one, which can also be found on YouTube. It’s just fantastic.

 

I've seen that one - the one where they all play instruments yes? - but I still like Adrian Lester better.

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I enjoyed this but thought the Helpless / Satisfied combination was so much better than everything else it impacted my enjoyment of the second half. 

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Always disappointed when I see what the old farts really look like when I go on their Wikipedia pages. Earlier today we watched The Simpsons episode where they go to D.C. and Lisa talks to a statue of Thomas Jefferson - he’ll forever be a cool as fuck black dude with an Afro to me now.

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1 hour ago, ckny said:

Always disappointed when I see what the old farts really look like when I go on their Wikipedia pages. Earlier today we watched The Simpsons episode where they go to D.C. and Lisa talks to a statue of Thomas Jefferson - he’ll forever be a cool as fuck black dude with an Afro to me now.

 

Haha me too.

 

I've become slightly obsessed with this tbh. I've watched it 3 times, listened to the soundtrack multiple times now, watched YT interviews, performances and reaction videos.

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I've just started watching it and it's absolutely fucking amazing. Unfortunately I cannot stand Hamiltons voice. He's obviously cast because of his incredible skill and artistry, but the actual tone of his voice cuts right through me. Its really frustrating cos its undermining the unbelievable production. 

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Slightly disappointed this hasn’t got a sub-title of The Thread Where It Happens.

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18 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:

I've just started watching it and it's absolutely fucking amazing. Unfortunately I cannot stand Hamiltons voice. He's obviously cast because of his incredible skill and artistry, but the actual tone of his voice cuts right through me. Its really frustrating cos its undermining the unbelievable production. 

 

He was cast because he wrote the whole thing and gave himself the lead part :lol:

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He’s obviously an absolutely incredible composer and lyricist, but I’ve found him lacking as performer in everything I’ve seen him in. He’s basically Andrew Lloyd-Webber if he insisted on being the Phantom of the Opera. Mind you he’d probably have still done a better job of it than Gerard Butler.

 

He’s probably the only member of any of the stage productions who’ll get instacast in the inevitable feature film version.

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