What you need to know before streaming ‘Hamilton’ on Disney+ over the weekend

Lin-Manuel Miranda and company are here to save what's left of 2020

Lin-Manuel Miranda of 'Hamilton' performs onstage during the 70th Annual Tony Awards at The Beacon Theatre on June 12, 2016 in New York City. (Theo Wargo, 2016 Getty Images)

The major hype around “Hamilton” may have happened five years ago, when it won all the Tony awards.

Do you remember, back in 2015? Getting a ticket was nearly impossible.

But it seems that people are excited to be able to finally watch the theater masterpiece at home, thanks to Disney+.

The streaming service is releasing the highly anticipated film version of the stage production, and for creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, the release has been a long time coming.

Miranda pushed up the release of the film due to the coronavirus, hoping it could bring some happiness and joy to fans of the musical, as well as those who have heard of the hype but have never seen the show or listened to the cast album.

Since there’s likely to be a good chunk of people who will watch “Hamilton” over the weekend who’ve probably never seen it before, here is a quick rundown of what you need to know before experiencing the phenomenon.

It tells the story of our Founding Fathers through the lens of Alexander Hamilton.

That’s right, folks, you’ll be getting a history lesson while watching “Hamilton.”

The title character, Alexander Hamilton, is often looked over when it comes to learning about the Founding Fathers, and his story is one of the most interesting. There are other historical characters like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who pop up throughout the show, but this story really is Hamilton’s.

Lin-Manuel Miranda serves as the brains behind the show.

Not only did Miranda play Hamilton in the original Broadway cast, but he also created the show and wrote the songs, alongside a team of other creatives. A majority of the songs are R&B and rap, so it’s quite amazing when you watch the show and realize just how many lyrics had to be written for the songs.

When it came time for the Tony Awards, the show was nominated for a record-breaking 16 awards. Miranda won Best Book and Best Original Score, alongside nine other honors that night.

The “Hamilton” on Disney+ is a filmed version of the show, not a movie.

It’s easy to call the version of “Hamilton” coming out on Disney+ a movie, but technically, it’s the stage version, filmed. Miranda and the rest of the original Broadway cast (which includes Broadway legends Leslie Odom Jr., Jonathan Groff and Renée Elise Goldsberry) got together for three days in 2016 to film the stage version of the show. An actual movie version of “Hamilton” will probably happen eventually, but this is a great way to really capture the magic of the stage version of the show.

There isn’t a whole lot of dialogue.

If you’re expecting the characters to actually talk to each other, you’re in for a rude awakening. While “Hamilton” is a musical, it’s technically more of an opera, since a majority of the show is sung. That might sound semi-boring to some, but the music and songs are so good that you don’t even realize there isn’t any actual dialogue between songs.

You have to have Disney+ to watch it.

Unfortunately, the show is only available on Disney+, so if you’re already a subscriber, you are all set. And because the people at Disney are incredibly smart, free trials of the streaming service have ended, so if you want to watch, you’re going to have to sign up. The good news is, it’s just $6.99 a month.

Will you be watching “Hamilton” this weekend? There’s no better way to celebrate America’s birthday than by learning some American history, right?

About the Author:

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.