“Hamilton” heads to big screen

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"The President greets the cast and crew of 'Hamilton' after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Britni Dunn

"The President greets the cast and crew of 'Hamilton' after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
“The President greets the cast and crew of ‘Hamilton’ after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The 2015 smash musical “Hamilton” is heading to theaters in summer 2021. Audiences without access to Broadway will be able to see for themselves how “Hamilton” was able to make such a huge mark on history and win 11 Tony Awards. Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop, jazz and musical theatre inspirations draw in a variety of listeners, making “Hamilton” one of the most popular musicals in the past few years.

“Hamilton” took the world by storm and became a cultural phenomenon, with some tickets costing over $500. The musical was more than just a Broadway show that swept the Tonys; it changed the course of modern-day musical theatre. The hip-hop, American Revolution-based musical turned the world upside down and set precedents for theatre that had not been previously explored.

“Hamilton” is known for its diverse cast, featuring young black, Latino, Asian and mixed-race actors, even though the historical figures portrayed in the musical were white. Miranda takes the concept of colorblind casting one step further by insisting that the historically white figures are played by actors of color.

Since the show is in such high demand, it can be difficult to get tickets. It is no surprise that fans are ecstatic to be able to see the show. With the taping being shown in movie theatres across the country, there is no doubt that it will have a wide reach.

Theatre-goers around the world have been waiting for the day the musical would be released on film since Oct. 2016 when Miranda took to Twitter to say “Hamilton” had been professionally filmed.

Filming live theatre can be a tricky game to play, considering what makes theatre magical is the energy of a live performance and the audience. In 2017, PBS released a filmed version of the revival of the musical “Falsettos,” which was a huge success. Though “Falsettos” does not have the avid fan base that “Hamilton” does, it played in theaters before being available on the streaming service Broadway HD. If one were to take lessons from this release, it would be that theatre reaches a much larger audience when brought to the public eye.

However, some have concerns that filming stage productions will make viewers less likely to buy tickets to shows. This was ultimately proven untrue—when a play or musical is made available to the public, ticket sales usually rise.

There is no doubt that the “Hamilton” screen production will be a smash hit. What makes the movie even better is that it will feature the original Broadway cast, with stars such as Phillipa Soo, Jonathan Groff, and Leslie Odom Jr., to name a few. University sophomore and Anthropology major Kennedy Robinson, a “Hamilton” fanatic, said, “I will be going to see it! It is a great opportunity for people who have not gotten the chance to see it [live]. It is especially exciting that the original cast is in it!”

Miranda has also been working on another screen production, “In the Heights,” which is a film adaptation of his 2008 Broadway musical. The show won Best Musical in the Tony Awards and the film version has been in the works for many years. Rather than being a filmed stage production like “Hamilton,” “In the Heights” will be a movie musical through and through. Audiences unable to wait for “Hamilton” can get a taste of Miranda’s original hip-hop musical style. Even five years after its opening, the musical is just as relevant; taking the world by storm with U.S. tours and a stop in London. “Hamilton” will likely be just as, if not more successful, in movie theatres as it is on stage.