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Spoiler alert for Hamilton on Disney+
Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical Hamilton has been a worldwide sensation since it opened in 2015, and now its been exposed to an even wider audience. Hamilton recently arrived on Disney+, in the form of a filmed performance featuring the original leading cast. Fans were delighted to finally see the performance that they'd heard countless times on the Grammy winning soundtrack, although there were a few moments that Miranda purposefully left out. And funny enough, they both involve the death of Anthony Ramos' characters.
Anthony Ramos is one of the many Hamilton actors playing dual roles; he's John Laurens in the first act, and Alexander's son Phillip in the second. His line in the opening number states "I died for him," and both characters met a grisly fate throughout the course of the musical. Lin-Manuel Miranda left out aspects of these events from the soundtrack, because he felt they needed to be seen. This includes Eliza's heartbreaking scream of anguish during Phillip's death in "Blow them All Away." As Miranda explained,
Actress Phillipa Soo played Eliza to pitch perfection in in Hamilton, and has a massive character arc throughout the show. Things go downhill for she and Alexander in Hamilton's second act, with Soo bringing a more visceral feel to her character. And nowhere is this more obvious than her scream of anguish and grief as Phillip dies right before her eyes.
"Blow Them All Away" is in Hamilton's soundtrack, so hardcore fans of the show already knew that Alexander and Eliza's firstborn son was going to eventually bite the bullet. The song's ending is heartbreaking and emotional, as the couple says goodbye to their son and tries to comfort him in his final moments. It's a seismic change in the show's story, and Phillipa Soo's scream likely would have been less impactful if the public saw it coming.
Hamilton is available exclusively on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
Of course, "Blow Them All Them Away" isn't the first time that Anthony Ramos' character dies. John Laurens is killed offstage after The Revolutionary War, with Alexander getting news in the form of a letter. This brief song "Tomorrow There'll Be More of Us" is absent completely from Hamilton's soundtrack, which allows another moment of surprise for even the most hardcore fan. On his personal Twitter, Lin-Manuel Miranda also explained why this sequence is one that had to be visual, saying:
Both of these death scenes are powerful moments in Hamilton, and show just how dangerous the world of the Founding Fathers was. Of course, this was made worse by the practice for dueling over disagreements. No wonder Eliza lived 50 years longer than her husband.
Hamilton is a true visual treat, although it's recently been deemed ineligible for The Academy Awards. Still, the Broadway musical's release on Disney+ is going to expose its direction, choreography, visuals, and hard working ensemble for a wider audience than ever before. Lin-Manuel Miranda crafted a dense and literary trip through time, and somehow managed to fit decades of Alexander Hamilton's life into the show's runtime.
Rather than a musical with dialogue like its predecessor In the Heights, Hamilton is almost entirely sung through, covering the life and career of its title character-- and how he influenced the systems still in place today. All of this is told through a stunning score, with dizzying raps, literary lyrics, and chill-inducing melodies. While most of the show's material is in its soundtrack, those above moments were purposefully left out. At least, until now.
Hamilton is now streaming on Disney+, and the In the Heights movie is currently set to hit theaters June 18th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.