Affordable, accessible ‘Hamilton’ streams July 3

B’way hit screens on film, captured live from 2016 with original cast

DisneyPlus screens a specially-created film version of “Hamilton,” featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, left, and Leslie Odom Jr., captured from a 2016 performance on Broadway. (Courtesy DisneyPlus)

Finally! The time at last has come to catch up with that vexatious neighbor who not only had $1,000 for a pair of tickets to see “Hamilton” at the Orpheum, but somehow managed to get them without standing in line.

This week, on July 3, “Hamilton” the movie becomes available for $6.99 to see from the comfort of home — where everyone’s quarantined anyway – for an unlimited number of times for a month.

The $6.99 is the cost, per month, of a DisneyPlus subscription. For those who want to be first on their block to see it, streaming is scheduled to begin at 12 a.m.

The DisneyPlus offering isn’t a film adaptation of the blockbuster musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda based on the book by Ron Chernow telling the story of the founding of the United States with rap, hip-hop, R&B and classic Broadway styles. It’s a 161-minute performance by the original Broadway cast in the Richard Rodgers Theatre from 2016, a year after the show opened, with added footage.

“Our biggest issue has always been accessibility, and so, I’m really glad we had the luxury to basically shoot an independent film in our first year, and now the world can see what it felt like to be in that room in June in 2016,” Miranda said in a recent TV interview, adding, “It was a three-day film shoot with the best-rehearsed cast in the history of the movies.”

Specifically shot for documentary purposes, the film is edited by Thomas Kail, who directed the Broadway show. Declan Quinn, director of photography, spent two months watching performances and reading the script and installed nine cameras in the theater to capture every possible angle.

The musical received 16 Tony nominations, winning 11. It also won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Miranda won a MacArthur Genius Grant for creating it.

Produced for $12.5 million on Broadway, “Hamilton” grossed more than a half billion dollars in four years. (It has a long way to catch up with “The Lion King,” reported to have made $8.2 billion gross worldwide in 22 years.)

Miranda owns the rights to any future feature film adaptation of “Hamilton,” often rumored. But if there were plans for it, the pandemic and the upcoming release have pushed them into the far future.

The upcoming streaming performance, known to fans as #Hamilfilm, stars the entire original cast, including Miranda. (It’s not the cast that appeared in San Francisco). The DisneyPlus presentation will have a one-minute “intermission” between the two acts, although viewers can pause the streaming at any time.

The film, according to a Disney press release, is “a leap forward in the art of ‘live capture,’ which transports its audience into the world of the Broadway show in a uniquely intimate way. Combining the best elements of live theater, film and streaming, the result is a cinematic stage performance that is a wholly new way to experience ‘Hamilton.’”

Miranda has thanked Disney and Disney+ for “reimagining and moving up our release to the July 4 weekend of this year, in light of the world turning upside down.”

The cast includes Tony Award-winners Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler and Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr; along with Tony nominees Christopher Jackson as George Washington, Jonathan Groff as King George and Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton; as well as Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds, Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison and Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton.

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