Are you ready for a Hamilton encore? If the answer is yes, then you probably have already watched Hamilton more than once on Disney+. But never being satisfied with only having the streaming event of the summer, Disney has now also revealed there will be a new behind-the-scenes look at the musical with Lin-Manuel Miranda and other key members of the cast, plus a historian, discussing the musical’s legacy five years on.
The new “special conversation,” titled Hamilton: History Has Its Eyes On You, is hosted by Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and features her interviewing Miranda, who in addition to playing Alexander Hamilton also wrote the music, lyrics, and books for the musical. She’ll also be speaking with director Thomas Kail and cast members Leslie Odom Jr. (Aaron Burr), Christopher Jackson (George Washington), Daveed Diggs (Marquis de Lafayette / Thomas Jefferson), Phillipa Soo (Eliza Schuyler Hamilton), and Renée Elise Goldsberry (Angelica Schuyler). Harvard historian and Professor Annette Gordon-Reed will also be part of the conversation, discussing the historical basis and perhaps omissions in the musical.
“It was an immense pleasure speaking with this talented group,” said Roberts. “After you listen to their insights and perspectives it will heighten your viewing of Hamilton. Such an engaging, enlightening conversation.”
Obviously produced during the current coronavirus pandemic with all cast members dialing in from home via Zoom, this new series of discussions are recent and should provide a little more perspective for everyone involved. The world has changed much since their show premiered to international acclaim in 2015, winning 11 Tonys and Miranda the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. There has always been a vocal minority of critics upset about the musical’s mostly favorable depiction of founding fathers who were slaveholders… including possibly Hamilton (it’s uncomfortably ambiguous). But that has only heightened after Disney+, with even Miranda responding to those criticisms earlier this week, saying the musical is fair game.
It most certainly is, but any conversation about Hamilton or even the founders should be taken in the full context. And in the case of the musical, that context includes being a work of art that reclaimed American history for all Americans, including those who were left out of inclusion during the American Revolution—while also noting the achievements of that era which define how we think about civil liberties and the purpose of government to this day.
The full trailer is below. Hamilton: History Has Its Eyes On You premieres on Friday, July 10.