How Hamilton Star Renée Elise Goldsberry Feels About Other Musicals Coming To The Big Screen

Angelica (Renee Elise Goldsberry) sings in Disney+'s Hamilton

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Hamilton made American history a lot more accessible to the 21st century when it hit Broadway in 2015. When the film of the original cast production was released on Disney+ in 2020, it made musical theater more accessible to the world. According to cast member Renée Elise Goldsberry, the transition from big stage to big screen was a great move -- and she has some thoughts on whether other musicals should follow Hamilton’s lead.

There’s no shortage of cinematic adaptations of Broadway musicals. From The Sound of Music to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights, it’s been a popular genre for decades. There’s something different about a filmed stage production, though -- Hamilton's Renée Elise Goldsberry can attest to that. During a conversation with The Wrap, the actress, who played Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton and won a Tony Award for her performance, talked about the benefits of recording Broadway productions and making them available to more fans:

I love the fact that some of that ‘oh, you missed it if you weren’t here’ is gone because it was on television. And surprisingly the fact that it was on television doesn’t mean that there’s not a value of going and sitting in a theater and still seeing it.

Hamilton is currently available to watch on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

When asked if she hopes more Broadway shows will follow suit and get released to a wider audience, Goldsberry was enthusiastic. The Girls5Eva actress went on to say,

I hope they will and I know they will. I know they will. It’s funny because theater was something as I was growing up that I didn’t believe you could capture in a camera of any sort. I didn’t believe you could really put that magic into a box and recreate it or mass produce it. And you know, the filming, the directing, the editing, the lighting, everything has gotten so good. I think they really have figured out the formula. I think there’s something uniquely special about being in a theater and there’s also something different and singular and uniquely special about what happens when you bring the magic of filmmaking to the magic of theater. I think it’s something - it creates something totally different and I love it, and I know they will continue to do it. ‘Cause when they get it right, it kills.

Renée Elise Goldsberry makes a good point -- while it’s impossible to recreate the experience of seeing live theater, that doesn’t mean the essence of a production is lost when it’s recorded. She also brought up one more positive aspect of more theatrical productions hitting our screens:

The beauty of it also for the performer is that we actually get to see the show.

That’s definitely a win for actors. Renée Elise Goldsberry isn’t the only member of the Hamilton cast who’s gotten behind the idea of making musical theater more approachable to the masses. Leslie Odom Jr. was also thrilled when Hamilton hit Disney+ last year, because he remembered growing up without many opportunities to see live theater. Hopefully the cast -- and the rest of the world -- will get to see more films like Hamilton in the future.

Katherine Webb