Recently, Lin-Maunel Miranda was asked if there would be a Hamilton movie any time soon, and he said probably— but in about 20 years. He gave some great examples as to why it needs to take that long. Namely, Chicago, Les Miz, and Cabaret, all of which took decades to find a style of adaptation that did the stage show justice. And I get that. I, like every other human, want a Hamilton movie, but want a great one more than just any one.
In the same vein, he said that while he knows we all want a filmed version of the stage show (different than a filmic adaptation), he’s not down for that, for valid reasons. His full response was pretty convincing.
The thing is, we worked really hard to make this work as a piece of theater. And I get it - I get it 50 times a day: “Please film it! Please film it so we can watch it!” And I understand it’s hard to get to New York and it’s hard to get a Broadway ticket. At the same time, filming is an act of translation. It is not being in the room with us. It’s different. You will get the forest, you will not get the trees.
And while I don’t totally agree with that sentiment, because the National Theatre has been doing amazing live broadcasts of their London shows for a long while now, Miranda has now fully proven himself wrong. Because as promotion for this weekend’s Tony Awards, the cast just released a 360 degree performance of the fantastic “Wait For It.” IF YOU WANT TO GIVE PEOPLE A GREAT EXPERIENCE WORTHY OF OUT-OF-THEATER BROADCAST, THIS IS IT.
I spent a good 20 minutes trying to get one of my outdated devices to play that video and oh my god was it worth it. You can watch it on a computer, but I highly recommend the mobile/tablet version that requires (or allows) you to move your entire body to see the action, the giant theater, and the weird Tony pit when you look straight down.
I absolutely despise 3D movies for their combination of nauseus headaches and overpriced tickets, but the last one I really loved was a Pina Bausch documentary from a few years ago, that truly made perfect use of the medium to explore the choreographer’s experimental dance methods. This brief video makes it clear that Hamilton has the power to not just break barriers in theatre-to-phone technology, but to reach an unprecedented audience in doing so.
SO PLEASE, LIN-MANUEL, DO IT. DO IT NOW, PLEASE.