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Lin-Manuel Miranda: Took us a while to realise 'Hamilton' won't play live for long

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Lin-Manuel Miranda recognises the deep impact of his ethnically diverse Broadway hit “Hamilton” when he sees people using quotes from the play while protesting with the calls for change. The Emmy and Grammy-winning artiste says he is proud that the language of the show connects with people on a large scale.

Now, with the coronavirus pandemic bringing the whole entertainment industry to a standstill, it took Miranda a while to realise that his show will not be played live in the theatres for long, and that’s when he decided to make theatre accessible to all with OTT premiere of filmed version of “Hamilton”.

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“The world turned upside down. The world changed and I think it took us a while to realise ‘Hamilton’ wasn’t going to be playing in any theaters live for a long time, and that took us a minute,” Miranda said during a virtual press conference with select media, including IANS, while talking about the decision to release it on an OTT platform.

“It took us a minute to adjust to the new timeline of the world. And you know, over the course of that happening, we heard people saying ‘Hey, we hear you have a ‘Hamilton’ movie. We are all home. Would you please give it to us?’,” he added.

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The filmed version was slated for a theatrical release, but the makers opted for a digital route as theatres remain shut due to the pandemic.

“We sort of realised that this is an incredible opportunity. We always said we wanted to democratise, and it just felt like a good opportunity. It happens almost exactly on the five-year anniversary that we filmed it, which is even more extraordinary,” he said.

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Inspired by the book “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow, “Hamilton” uses the life story of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton to explore the history of the US, while navigating several issues which resonate even today through a story spawned together with hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway. It has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education.

Credited as a revolutionary show, the musical has been showered with praise and awards. In 2016, it won the Pulitzer Prize for drama and the Tony Award for best new musical.

“You have no idea how something’s gonna do (while working on it)… Six years writing it, gathering this incredible cast, some of whom were with us just for the journey to Broadway, some of us were with us for years. We’ve been running for five years and I think more people will see ‘Hamilton’ between July 3-5 than have ever seen it before. So I don’t even know how to wrap my mind or my heart around that,” Miranda said.

“When I see a sign at a protest out in the street that says, ‘History has its eyes on you’ or the ‘Tomorrow There’ll Be More of Us’… I know that the language of the show is connecting in a way that makes me incredibly proud. I can’t even wrap my mind around that. I just can’t,” added the 40-year-old.

Filmed at The Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York in June of 2016, the film promises to transport its audience into the world of Broadway at a time when entertainment avenues remain shut due to the virus crisis.

The multi-award winning stage musical featuring the original Broadway cast will release on Disney+ Hotstar Premium on July 3.

–IANS, Sugandha Rawal


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