A little less than five years ago I badly wanted to catch Lin Manuel Miranda‘s Hamilton on Broadway. It had opened at the Richard Rodgers theatre in August 2015, and for a good year or so I kept reminding myself to somehow catch it during one of my NYC visits. But I was also repelled by the absurdly high ticket prices, and I gradually convinced myself that it wasn’t worth the candle.
I then told myself that I’d catch a roadshow version or at the very least a video-captured version on cable or streaming. But neither scenario happened. The cable/streaming thing stalled because the producers felt this would cut into roadshow revenues.
And so gradually the Hamilton moment — the late-Obama-era, fresh-out-of-the-box excitement — began to wear off.
Now the Hamilton “movie” is finally about to stream on the Disney channel (starting on 7.3). Obviously a good thing for millions who never saw it. But honestly? As brilliant and universally applauded as the stage show was (and to go by reviews of the streaming version), it’s no longer a thing with special vitality.
Hamilton doesn’t seem to have opened five years ago (it actually began at the Public Theatre on 2.17.15) but more like a decade ago, given everything that’s happened since that first electric moment. And it’s always been my feeling that movies don’t just connect because they’re exceptional but because of the timing — because they’ve opened at just the right time and have struck when the iron is hot.
A Hamilton press screener has been sitting in my inbox for a couple of days, and I’m thinking of catching it tonight. Why didn’t I watch it immediately? Because it’s an old show now.