Who has watched Hamilton more than once on Disney+?

Michelle Obama on Hamilton: “it was simply, as I tell everybody, the best piece of art in any form that I have ever seen in my life.” The proletariat seemed to agree with her, happily shelling out a month of income for a family night at the (sold-out-at-$1000+/seat) theater.

The musical has been out for months now on Disney+. Who has taken the trouble to press the “Play” button more than once? Or knows someone who has watched the musical more than once on Disney+?

I ultimately failed to persuade even a single friend to come over and watch this. Visiting a friend’s vacation house for roughly 7 nights this summer, I could not persuade anyone there to watch it with me.

[The same people were happy to gather, perhaps contrary to a subset of our governor’s 50+ orders, for other movies, shows, games, and activities.]

I am having difficulty understanding how something that was so valuable to people in the theater is essentially worthless on TV. Part of this, I guess, is that sticking a camera in the back of a theatrical production has seldom been a hugely successful technique for making a good movie. On the other hand, that’s what the Metropolitan Opera did before they were shut down for coronapanic and the results were successful with millions of viewers on PBS and at least hundreds of thousands in theaters.

Also, what’s our verdict on the show? Who agrees with Michelle Obama that this is better than any painting in the Metropolitan Museum, Louvre, or National Gallery (I think we can assume she has been to these places)? Who agrees with Michelle Obama that this is better than any work by Bach, Beethoven, Verdi, or Mozart? Who agrees with Michelle Obama that this is better than any work misattributed to Shakespeare?

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10 thoughts on “Who has watched Hamilton more than once on Disney+?

  1. I’ve watched it probably five times on Disney+, largely because our daughter adores it, has seen it 4x live, and watches it over and over on TV.

    It’s very good, and I say that as a person who almost never enjoys a musical. It’s also well shot — this musical translates well to TV.

    • I didn’t see it live, but I loved the play itself on Disney+. I disagree that the TV adaptation is well shot. The director is the same as the play, and clearly TV directing isn’t his thing. He follows the dancers around in tight shots (i.e. the actors stay still, and the backgrounds move), and cuts on movement climax, or every three seconds, whichever comes first.

      These are the sort of things music video directors do to make it look like some singer with zero moves knows how to dance, not when you have very talented dancers.

      I wouldn’t go as far as Mrs Obama, but for me it was the standout artistic achievement of the 21st century – so far. I could probably go back a couple more decades but that sort of ranking is pointless. There’s just a lot of facets that could have been the main focus of the movie by themselves, and instead are all woven together (e.g. the sister in law’s love for Hamilton).

      I think the hip hop thing is genius. The idea that the founding fathers had to be quick tongued, but also handy with a pistol is just like the early rap game.

  2. Michelle Obama was in the audience (@3:46, looking miserable?) for The Kennedy Center Honors 2012, where Heart performed “Stairway to Heaven” as a tribute to the members of Led Zeppelin. I have a hard time believing anyone would say Hamilton was better art than this grand production:

  3. In all fairness I have only caught individual songs of Hamilton and can’t imagine wanting to sit through more of it since I am not a big rap fan. Personally, I found the combination of 18th century settings combined with 21st century pop culture kind of bizarre. I guess it’s from a certain woke, virtue signalling, anti white supremacist cultural point of view. I’m more of a fan of the 1970’s film “1776” recreating the musical of the same name. Maybe Hamilton is just the up to date “urban/coastal” response to “1776”? Sure Mrs. Obama, there is nothing better on this whole green earth than Hamilton…

  4. Tried listening to it a few times just to figure out the plot. Always lost attention after the revolutionary war, when Hamilton was trying to get his financial plan through congress. The events that led to his final duel were also a blur. It’s very dense dialog. There are a few nuggets of history no-one ever heard of. The Hamilton Burr duel was a buried artifact of history before the show made it famous.

    The original cast does a fundraiser every 4 years for whoever the democratic presidential candidate is. It’s amusing that the author played Hamilton in the original cast.

  5. I watched it on TV with my family. I stopped after the first act. It was monotonous. You would think a rapped show would have more rhythmic variety/interest. I got bored with the same rhythms done the same way over and over and the story moves along too slowly. Lots of 16th notes over and over……..
    I don’t like Broadway shows in general but with all the universal acclaim I thought this would be different.

  6. Hard to rank creative works across such a wide spectrum, but as a talent Miranda is in the same league as Andrew Lloyd Weber. I understand he does more of the production work than Weber, but he has completed only two works. Rap is not my thing but “Hamilton” made more sense than the usual coarse subject matter.

    • The reason I think the rap works (for me) is that we tend to think that since the US revolutionaries are the ancestors of modern day WASPS, they had a similar temperament to their modern descendants. They also tend to be represented in portraits as Presidents and Governors, rather than as the younger selves that actually signed the declaration of independence and fought in the wars.

      But by and large, the sort of person we commonly imagine them to be do not start revolutions. So I personally think that the casting choice makes us think more of the risks they took.

  7. I don’t see how anyone could consider racist agitprop such as “Hamilton” to be the best piece of art of their lifetime. I understand that in 2015, the year it premiered, the world was less cognizant of, or more permissive of, racism in general, but in 2020 we have no such excuse. I hope the former First Lady corrects her wrongthink proclamation and immediately denounces this fascist musical in the name of antiracism and the spirit of wokeness, for great justice.

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