Ever since its premiere in 2015, Hamilton has been the hottest new musical on the Broadway scene. Perhaps the biggest draws to the musical was the almost all persons-of-color cast in a story filled with historically white figures and the choice to tell the story of the Hamilton’s through R&B and rap music. I unfortunately have never had the chance to go see the musical live. So, when they announced they were releasing a recording of the production, I was thrilled.
Hamilton has been THE musical to see as it seems that everyone, from the musical theatre lovers to those that hate musical theatre, seems to absolutely adore this production. I can see where all the hype is coming from as the production is absolutely fantastic. Between the music, acting, directing, lighting, choreography, and every other aspect that brings the production together is done flawlessly, and the production delivers a fantastic experience that everyone must experience.
While it has been marketed as a movie, I contend that it isn’t due to the nature at which it was recorded and the way it is presented. However, I desperately want Disney and other studios to continue to release recorded versions of stage shows on their various platforms. Disney Plus does have its 1992 filmed version of Newsies (which I am also a big fan of), but imagine being able to sit down and watch the stage versions of The Lion King or Aladdin with the entire family. Musicals are very expensive experiences that are well-worth the price, but the price often repels families from experiencing these amazing pieces of art. The main concern with this is that it would lower the sales of tickets to the live shows, but many people will tell you that they would always prefer going to a live event if possible. The real test will be to see how well Hamilton‘s live ticket sales do once quarantine is lifted to see if studios and producers of live shows see if recorded performances are a viable medium financially.
The real question becomes, would this work as a 2-hour Hollywood film? Shockingly, I don’t think Hamilton would. The story of Hamilton spans many years and facets of the Hamilton household that are all intricately woven with the music. Also, part of the beauty of the live show is the simplicity of the stage design and how the never-yet-ever-changing backdrop and spinning floor help convey the story and the revolving of history. I do not know how a proper film would be able to condense the story without cutting beloved songs and losing the audiences in timeskips. That said, many thought that Les Miserables would be nearly impossible to translate, and yet, it is one of the most beloved and acclaimed musical films of all time.
Overall, I absolutely adore this recorded version of the live stage show of Hamilton. It is such an amazing production that everybody need to see at one point or another. While I do not believe it could be adapted into a Hollywood film, hopefully one day I’ll be proven wrong.
Stage Production Review: 5/5
Adaptability Review: 2/5