Pretty much everyone who loves history and a sick beat and fun things in general is geeking out over Hamilton right now. Whether you’re discovering it for the first time on Disney+ or coming back to it like an old friend, it’s delightful, and honestly, none of us can get enough.
If you’re out there reading everything you can find about the hit musical, it’s cast and creators, well, you’re going to want to scan these 19 behind-the-scenes secrets.
19. Lin Manuel was a bit of a procrastinator.
He wrote the middle portion of “Right Hand Man” during a tech rehearsal, forcing music director Alex Macamoire to work off his scribbled notes.
18. It was filmed over the course of three days.
Two of the days took place during live performances and the third, which gave us all of those delicious close-ups, dolly shots, Steadicam, and crane angles, was shot in an empty theater.
17. Philippa Soo preferred to stay in character.
When Eliza sits next to Philip while teaching him piano, the two of them spoke quietly about Philip being nervous to perform the poem for his father.
16. Only 12 of the songs were performed more than once to get the close-ups.
That means 33 of the musical numbers were filmed during the live performances – no redos.
Obviously, they didn’t need them.
15. During “Dear Theodosia” Leslie Odom, Jr. would say a prayer for his unborn (at the time) daughter.
By the end of his run in the show, he had said “over 500 prayers” for his little girl.
14. Jonathan Groff is only on stage for 9 total minutes.
He said the role of King George III helped him figure out how to “do a lot with a little.”
13. Renee Elise and Lin Manuel watched Philippa Soo perform “Burn” every night from the wings.
They each wanted to be there for their characters, but probably also for the magic.
12. Leslie Odom Jr.’s favorite song is “The Story of Tonight.”
Seeing “four men of color on a stage singing together about friendship and brotherhood” left a Leslie explained, “Never in my life, you see, had I seen four men of color on a stage singing together about friendship and brotherhood.” on him when he saw it during an early staging.
11. The letters Eliza burns are sort of real.
They’re cursive transcripts of real letters between Eliza and Alexander.
10. Yes, working with the turntable during “Helpless”and “Satisfied” was the hardest part to learn.
They learned it on a different stage and then essentially had to start over in the actual space.
9. The letters Eliza burns are totally safe.
The paper burns for around two minutes and nine seconds – safe, but also extinguishing in time for the perfect blackout at the end of the song.
8. Lin Manuel said he wasn’t even sure he would “have time to get into” Angelica Schuyler’s character.
Then he wrote “Satisfied” and we can’t imagine the musical without her.
7. Daveed Diggs added his own magic.
The line when Jefferson says “uhhh…France’ was improvised during “What’d I Miss.”
6. Renee Elise Goldsberry confesses that the final toast was actually the hardest part for her.
Yes, even though she rapped and performed “Helpless” backwards during “Satisfied.” The emotion of the moment got to her.
5. Philippa Soo believes the “final gasp” could mean a lot of things.
It can be interpreted as Eliza getting to heaven, Eliza seeing Alexander (or Philip), or Eliza seeing the audience and realizing her legacy – or all three at the same time.
4. Lin Manuel is as impressed with Daveed Diggs as the rest of us.
He added an entire second section to “Guns and Ships” because they were obsessed with his sense of rhythm.
3. For good reason – he sings the fastest-paced lyrics in musical theater history.
Around 6.3 words a second during “Guns and Ships.”
2. Choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler came up with the idea for “The Bullet.”
Lin Maneul’s brilliance isn’t behind everything. Ariana DeBose took the idea and “ran with it.”
1. If you haven’t noticed her before, do so on your next watch.
“The Bullet” is the first person to die in the contemporary timeline and becomes an omen of death.
I’m completely intrigued and honestly, I want to watch the entire thing again right now.
How many times have you watched it already? You can tell us in the comments. No judgement, we swear.