IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED.
Broadway. The name was literally becoming iconic within many shows and productions that have come and gone; gracing their names, star-studded performances, famous musical songs on the mainstage for all to see and producing memorable hits throughout the decades.
Through the years, musical Broadway productions and shows have showcased the theatrical arts in its various forms, with such big hits including Les Miserable, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, The Lion King, Into the Woods, and Rent just name a few.
One such production premiered on the stage back in 2015, with the release of Hamilton. Adapted loosely based on from the 2004 biography book by Ron Chernow, Hamilton follows the story of Alexander Hamilton, the somewhat unsung Founding Father of the United States and those who played a major role throughout the course of his life.
Created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton quickly rose to critical universal acclaim throughout the theater world, with many clamoring to see the show and gain creativity ingenuity praise for how the play is presented and in the musical numbers.
Because of this, Hamilton became a modern hit on Broadway; selling to a plethora of sold out shows and winning numerous awards, including cultivating 11 out of 16 Tony Awards (including Best Musical) as well as receiving the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Hamilton even want on tour beyond the streets of Broadway, with several “off-Broadway” productions being represented on various U.S. tours throughout the following years.
Now, director Thomas Kali and Disney+ present a film taping version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s popular Broadway show (with the original cast) in the 2020 movie Hamilton. Does this film translate the stage production in a good light or is it a pale comparsion to the 2015 Broadway hit?
Arriving in New York in 1776, Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda), an orphaned immigrant from the Caribbean island of Nevis, and quickly becomes entangled in the upheaval strife of the American Revolution as an aide-de-camp to General George Washington (Christopher Jackson), working alongside fellow patriot freedom fights such as John Laurens (Anthony Ramos), Marquis de Lafayette (Daveed Diggs), and Hercules Mulligan (Okieriete Onaodowan).
In addition, Hamilton, during this time, comes into contact with Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom Jr.), his longtime rival relationship, as well as falling for Angelica Schuyler (Renee Elise Goldsberry) and marriage to her sister, Eliza (Philippa Soo) shortly after. After winning the American Revolution, Hamilton finds himself as the Secretary of the Treasury; facing new challenges such as his disagreements with Thomas Jefferson (Diggs) and James Madison (Onaodowan), his affair with Maria Reynolds (Goldsberry), the death of his son, Phillip (Ramos), and his downward spiral relationship with Burr, which reaches a climatic point.
As history is written and major events unfold, Hamilton is at the epicenter of something “big”; changing the face of a nation and recalling upon those who made his story. Remember….who lives, who dies, who tells your story are the main beats of history!
Get ready to experience the journey, the courage, the legacy, the dream, the history, the joy, the moment, the revolution, the myth, the music, the fight, and the tragic triumph of Alexander Hamilton’s life in the filmed stage play production of Hamilton.
Director Thomas Kali production of the staging and filming the iconic Lin-Manuel Miranda stage play is ever bit as enjoyable and immersive as it to actually seeing the Broadway show; capturing the essence and spirt and critically showcasing the modern masterpiece in delightful and spectacular fashion.
While there are some minor flaws that the Broadway production can’t overcome, the presentation of the show is incredibly solid and effectively works in this theatrical feature medium, thanks to the original cast performances and in the palpability of the show’s musical numbers and energetic meaning.
Personally, I loved this movie. It was definitely something great and certainly deserves all the praise (the original Broadway show) that it received. There were a few minor nitpicks that I had with it, but the stage play production, acting, and singing were all well-played and entertaining. Thus, my recommendation for this is definite “highly recommended” one as it is truly something to behold, especially if you never saw the theatrical stage play or the original cast members.
Altogether, the 2023 release on Hamilton on Disney+ is truly a captivating and engrossing presentation of the famous Broadway production (with the original cast) and is the next best thing to seeing the show from…. well…. just like the song says….in the room where it happened.
4.5 Out of 5 ( Highly Recommended )
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