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Thread: Hamilton (2020)

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default Hamilton (2020)

    So I was going to just comment in my blog but maybe others are excited about this and want to discuss. It started streaming today on Disney+ and I'm at the intermission right now.

    I have the benefit of having seen the traveling version of this shown in 2019. So at least I was aware of the visual presentation of the show, it just was not starring the original cast... although I know that soundtrack by heart.

    I had seen an article that I cannot currently locate suggesting that it's better just to listen to the soundtrack. While the soundtrack is great, I think there are some things lost when you just have the music -- and there's even some confusion at times about who is singing, or the intent of the character at the time. For example, a line that scans one way when heard actually is very different in the show. (An obvious example are the lines by Peggy Schuyler, on the stage it's very clear that she's the reluctant one and the other two sisters are more outgoing and wanting to rock society's boat.) Basically anything involving sarcasm comes out much more obviously when you see the show.

    The physicality also clarifies a lot of what else is happening. Sometimes it's just awesome frills, like seeing the stage rewind for Angelica's "Satisfied" and/or her flashback moments in different lighting. Other times you're getting a few layers of plot that might not be conveyed as well by dialogue but visually (like when Angelica says she is leaving for Europe and the turntable carries her away while bringing Eliza around to Alexander. If I remember the show correctly, it really helps in the final moments as Alexander dies as he's doing flashbacks of his life.)

    The visuals basically help clarify and accentuate what is going on. The musical is notoriously dense and hard to unpack, this isn't like "The King and I." There's a TON more words rattling by, for one. I recall having to listen to the entire soundtrack a good 3-4 times before I got a good sense of who is singing throughout (voice recognition) and unpacking the language to get the gist of each scene. I still got a few things wrong; when I saw the musical last year, I was blown away a few times by how the scenes made more sense after mistakes I'd made in attributing lines were corrected.

    But it's just the sheer physicality that is cool to see, and the facial expressions (now even more obvious on zoom shots), and all the extras doing things on the stage that you CAN'T hear on the album. And the way they utilize the square set to accomplish a variety of settings.

    Anyway, enough from me, what thoughts do other people have?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    There was also another line of thought I had on this, although it's less about the musical and more about the marketing / financial aspects.

    Obviously Disney had hoped to make a killing on this thing at the theater, I'm sure it would have broken a billion. With COVID, obviously, they decided to dump it on Disney+ as a way to get people to join the service (and recoup their money in another way), although I'm pretty sure they will still do a theatrical run at some point in the future once everything settles.

    I've still got some mixed feelings. The show has still made a ton of money on stage obviously, but the tickets are heinously expensive. They typically set aside tickets in each show to raffle off for free, but it's basically a show equating black empowerment with the rise of American and our own breaking away from England. (For example there are references to one of Hamilton's friends fighting to free the blacks in the south so he could try and build the first black regiment in the military during the war.) It overtly touts how immigrants made this nation. The cast is all black. The music is mostly hip-hop. It's a great show, all the songs are connected musically and/or lyrically by certain articulated lines and themes.

    But who is most able to see the show? White people with money. Maybe that is the crowd that needs to have the slap in the face, honestly. But it just seems darkly ironic to me that it's a black show that white people are mostly able to afford. And now you'll have to subscribe to Disney+ to see it. I guess it is still cheaper to get Disney for a month than take a family of 4 to the movies.

    But ultimately, case in point: The showing I attended was almost all white people. You might think maybe the demographic in my area is mainly white, but it certainly isn't: I saw the show in downtown Baltimore.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
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    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Totenkindly View Post
    There was also another line of thought I had on this, although it's less about the musical and more about the marketing / financial aspects.

    Obviously Disney had hoped to make a killing on this thing at the theater, I'm sure it would have broken a billion. With COVID, obviously, they decided to dump it on Disney+ as a way to get people to join the service (and recoup their money in another way), although I'm pretty sure they will still do a theatrical run at some point in the future once everything settles.

    I've still got some mixed feelings. The show has still made a ton of money on stage obviously, but the tickets are heinously expensive. They typically set aside tickets in each show to raffle off for free, but it's basically a show equating black empowerment with the rise of American and our own breaking away from England. (For example there are references to one of Hamilton's friends fighting to free the blacks in the south so he could try and build the first black regiment in the military during the war.) It overtly touts how immigrants made this nation. The cast is all black. The music is mostly hip-hop. It's a great show, all the songs are connected musically and/or lyrically by certain articulated lines and themes.

    But who is most able to see the show? White people with money. Maybe that is the crowd that needs to have the slap in the face, honestly. But it just seems darkly ironic to me that it's a black show that white people are mostly able to afford. And now you'll have to subscribe to Disney+ to see it. I guess it is still cheaper to get Disney for a month than take a family of 4 to the movies.

    But ultimately, case in point: The showing I attended was almost all white people. You might think maybe the demographic in my area is mainly white, but it certainly isn't: I saw the show in downtown Baltimore.
    I saw the show in Chicago in late 2017. I think the tickets were $125-$150, which is ridiculous but this is the case for shows, sports, concerts, museums... I read the book as well. I loved the show, I thought it was wonderful, the music just grabs you and it's unexpected, even if you have been told and it's been described. Dense is an excellent way to describe the music but I still listen to it when I'm driving sometimes.

    The musical is described as America then, as told by America now but it's inaccessible to the vast majority of Americans. I often wonder if there was ever a time there was less income inequality in this country and I really can't. Even in the 50's that prosperity was mostly white, albeit coated in extreme paranoia and fear from Cold War propaganda.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

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    That is a pretty decent price in a major city, I know the Broadway tickets were much more expensive, and I remember reading articles about how they could have charged more. (I bought tickets close to the stage because I had money saved that I could dip into, and I knew I would never go again so I thought it would be a unique experience I'd regret if I didn't. They were about three times that cost. Other shows I've bought close to stage were only about half what I paid for Hamilton at most, usually less.)

    I can't say I know much about economics and the historical patterns aside from the obvious broad shifts (the last few recessions, the Great Depression, etc.), but yes, I'm feeling like the middle class (which my family was growing up) has been disappearing and the gap growing. I felt like I had at least an avenue to a decent living, buying a house, etc., when I was a teenager and starting my career. I'm looking at my kids and wondering how they will manage. And they're still probably in a better position than some.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    It was kind of cool seeing Daveed Diggs, who i've only seen before in Blindspotting (another film I enjoyed a great deal).
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Totenkindly View Post
    It was kind of cool seeing Daveed Diggs, who i've only seen before in Blindspotting (another film I enjoyed a great deal).
    The first thing I saw him in was this mockumentary Tour de Pharmacy. I just found it on HBO randomly. Funny. I still don't know how they got Lance Armstrong to agree to it.

    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

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    Random tidbit: Something I caught on the first listen of the soundtrack, in the song where Hamilton is dealing with the Reynolds and his affair and decides to make payments, he sings "Nobody needs to know" -- the line (words and music) is cribbed from / a homage to a song from "The Last Five Years" musical by Jason Robert Brown, where Jamie is having affair. Wondering how many other things like that were snuck in...
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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