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The beauty of live theater as opposed to cinema is when audiences take their seats, they are not going to see the exact performance the person who sat before them witnessed. Even with Hamilton being such a huge phenomenon, being in the room where it happens can be an intimate experience – especially when the talents switch up their performance.
When the original cast was performing Hamilton eight times a week on Broadway, which was recently captured to film for Disney+, there were a number of flubs that occurred throughout its run. Humans are imperfect, it’s going to happen and sometimes it’s fun to see. But Eliza Hamilton actress Phillipa Soo believes she had the worst one of them all. In her words:
I don’t think anyone will beat me, though. Which is forgetting the words to ‘Burn.’ And not just the lyrics, like a whole verse.
Eliza Hamilton’s “Burn” is a pivotal moment in the second act and worst of all, it's not the kind of song that can be covered up by another performer if she messes up, such as with the ensemble numbers. Phillipa Soo recalled the time she blanked so disastrously she couldn’t remember her emotional solo from the second act. The actress recalled the moment with the cast during an interview with Sirius XM. Daveed Diggs, who plays Marquis de Lafayette / Thomas Jefferson in the musical pitched in with this:
We were more worried and concerned than thinking it was funny. Because you never mess up.
When Phillipa Soo reminded the cast of the traumatic moment, much of the cast remembered it with her. Okieriete Onaodowan, who plays Hercules Mulligan / James Madison in Hamilton, said he actually thought something was going on stage when she forgot her lines. In an effort to make the actress feel better, Lin-Manuel Miranda deflected to a moment from one of the later King George actors Andrew Rannells, who decided to mouth the “words” to his song when he forgot them in an effort to make the audience believe the sound was the problem.
Onaodowan also pointed out the time Aaron Burr actor Leslie Odom Jr. came out during one of his songs and instantly said “Oh shoot” during one of the preview nights early in Hamilton’s past. The point is, they’ve probably all messed up on stage in their own ways. Hey, when you perform something that many times, it’s going to happen.