If you’ve never seen Hamilton before or just want to see it again, now is the perfect time. The hit musical is premiering on Disney Plus. But when was the musical that you’re watching on Disney filmed? And where was it filmed? Learn more here.
‘Hamilton’ Was Filmed in 2016 in New York City
Hamilton was filmed in June 2016 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City, New York, according to a press release from Disney.
The Richard Rodgers Theatre has been the home of Hamilton in New York since 2015. The theater has 1,319 seats. Hamilton first premiered on Broadway on August 6, 2015, so the scenes you’re seeing were filmed fairly a little less than a year after the Broadway show premiered.
Lin-Manuel Miranda said about the film production: “I’m incredibly grateful that the world will be able to see this. Theater is a communal artistic experience, and this film is a love letter to live theater.”
Thomas Kail, director of Hamilton, said about the production: “It is a cinematic piece of art that recreates the energy and the sense of community the original production provided.”
He said that the shows done with the audience were filmed non-stop and the cameras were positioned in-house or on-stage. “We just ran the shows as we always did,” Kail said.
The film, Kail said, gives everyone the same seat, which is a new experience.
“The editing process is where I found the movie,” Kail said. “We wanted to preserve a moment in time and share it with as many people as possible, and it was an opportunity to create new fans and new storytellers and to celebrate the form of live theater.”
Alex Lacamoire, music supervision and orchestra, said about the film: “It’s basically what it would have been like had you been watching Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theatre that weekend in June with a live audience. There are a couple of moments that happen in the live performance that weren’t recorded on the cast album, and you’ll be able to see those moments in the film.”
There are a total of 46 numbers in the show. Thirteen or 14 were shot when the audience wasn’t present, and the Steadicam, crane, and dolly were used on stage for those shots, according to Disney.
The Timeline of ‘Hamilton’
Lin-Manuel Miranda first came up with the idea for Hamilton in 2008 while reading Ron Chernow’s biography, Alexander Hamilton, the Chicago Tribune reported. This was after his musical In the Heights premiered on Broadway and won a Tony. Miranda then performed “The Hamilton Mixtape” for President Barack Obama and his family in 2009. The song would later become the musical’s opening number. The musical’s off-Broadway debut was in February 2015 at the Public Theater, and then it opened on Broadway in August 2015.
The show’s first post-Broadway production was in Chicago in October 2016, the Chicago Tribune reported. That one still runs with Miguel Cervantes as Alexander. The national tour launched in 2017.
Disney paid $75 million for the rights to Hamilton, Deadline reported. It was originally going to be a theatrical release, and Disney had to renegotiate the deal when they decided to release it on the streaming service instead. This is an amazing stage show that fans will be able to watch right from their homes. It’s a perfectly timed release while people are sheltering at home and looking for new things to engage in and talk about.