The phenomenon of Hamilton reinvigorated my interest in musical theater, so much so that I've seen the UK production three times over. Perhaps more importantly, the soundtrack has been a staple of my most played on Spotify for the majority of the time I've used the streaming service.
I'm by no means the world's biggest fan of Hamilton - that title goes to someone who knows every single reference in this behemoth - but this is the first time I've been truly excited about diving into Disney Plus.
So, let's take a step back a moment. The award-winning musical written by and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda was recorded on stage with the original cast during its original run in June 2016. That recording is being developed into a film, and it was announced earlier this year that it'd be landing in cinemas in October 2021.
A surprise announcement in May 2020 has confirmed that the film will instead land on Disney Plus well over a year before the original intended launch date. It's coming to the streaming service on July 3, 2020. In a little under two months, everyone around the world will be able to see Hamilton for the first or thousandth time.
It's looking very unlikely that theaters around the world will reopen to show the production live by that point. Although this wasn't specifically cited as why Disney was pulling forward the launch date, it seems quite clear that this is the perfect distraction for people around the world and a great celebration for July 4 in the US.
It's Quiet on Disney Plus
Right now, there's not much for me on Disney Plus. I've watched The Mandalorian - which I mostly loved - but as soon as those first eight episodes were complete, there was no clear reason to keep my subscription going.
Access to the Marvel and Star Wars films is helpful enough when I need the odd hit of those franchises, but in all honesty I've mostly had enough of superheroes and lightsabers over the past five years.
Hamilton mixes up the variety available on Disney Plus. This is another string to the streaming service's bow, alongside the excellent documentaries, top franchises and classic animation the service provides.
I'm also excited to see how the experience will be changed for the film. Disney's press release suggests this won't just be a recording of the original performances, like we've seen many theaters and production companies stream throughout this pandemic.
Disney's press release reads, "The film is a leap forward in the art of 'live capture' which transports its audience into the world of the Broadway show in a uniquely intimate way. Combining the best elements of live theater, film, and streaming, the result is a cinematic stage performance that is a wholly new way to experience 'Hamilton.'"
What exactly that means may be unclear until we get to July 3. A stage musical is a very different experience in the room compared to what it's like watching it on a screen, and this may mean a very different experience to what those have had before with Hamilton.
The World Turned Upside Down
I'm also just excited for many to be able to see the production without the restrictions that you find on most musical theater.
Whether it's geography or the financial barriers to entry, Disney Plus just gave the opportunity to see one of the best musicals of the century for just $6.99 / £5.99 / AU$8.99.
That's democratizing an experience that is usually reserved for a small section of society.
For example, any kids who are interested in history now get the opportunity to see the formation of the United States outside of a boring documentary. They get catchy songs, incredible performances and flashing lights without having to leave their own home.
The Room Where It Happens
And finally, perhaps the reason I'm most excited to see Hamilton on Disney Plus, is to hear those voices I now so deeply associate with these characters perform the musical in its original incarnation.
I've been lucky enough to see the show on stage, but not with the original cast in its original Broadway run. That was sold out for months and an eight-hour plane ride away for me when it was originally showing.
The London recording that I've seen on stage wasn't recorded and released, so whenever I've needed a Hamilton-hit I've been returning to the recording from the original cast of Miranda, Diggs, Goldsberry and so many others.
To get the opportunity to see them perform Hamilton in front of my eyes is something I'd be willing to pay at least a £100 for. To be able to do that for just £5.99 - well, Disney you have my money.
- Our full Disney Plus review