Hamilton was a hit on Broadway long before it made its way to the small screen via Disney+. But when the musical was professionally filmed over five years ago, composer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda had no idea that the movie would blossom into an overnight sensation and lead to an even higher demand to see the show in person - or the lasting impact the Hamilton pro shot would have on the Broadway community.
Sara Eisen of CNBC recently caught up with Lin-Manuel Miranda to discuss the impact of Hamilton’s streaming release. The blockbuster musical was filmed back in 2016, and was meant to be released in theaters sometime in 2021. But when the pandemic struck, Disney elected to celebrate last year’s Independence Day by releasing Hamilton on the company’s streaming service. The movie was, unsurprisingly, a major hit - but at the time of filming, Miranda didn’t know how special it would turn out to be. He explained:
The original cast of Hamilton was a star-studded affair, with stage veterans like Leslie Odom Jr., Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Daveed Diggs winning Tony Awards for their respective roles. It’s easy to see why the production team would have wanted to capture their performances before they inevitably left the show, but the filmed version of Hamilton had an unforeseen impact on the Broadway community.
How so? One word: accessibility. Broadway producers are typically reluctant to release taped versions of their shows for fear that an at-home viewing experience will lead to a decrease in ticket sales. Unfortunately, that recalcitrance has contributed to the growing inaccessibility of Broadway shows, many of which charge over $100 for a seat in the nosebleed section. As Lin-Manuel Miranda can attest, however, the success of Hamilton on Disney+ has proved that Broadway’s fear of lost profit was unfounded. He said:
Here’s hoping that more Broadway shows will follow Hamilton’s lead. In the meantime, theater fans can head back to the room where it happens on Disney+.
Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.
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