Broadway v Disney+


Addie Grimm

Crowds form outside the CIBC Theater, in Chicago as the theater doors open.

Addie Grimm, Copy Editor

Ever since Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical, “Hamilton: An American Musical” debuted 5 years ago, it has continued to be ever prevalent and topical. With Disney+’s filmed version, the musical phenomenon has only seemed to persist. 

This musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers, through a combination of hip hop and pop songs. Through song, Hamilton’s story of how he immigrated to the colonies from the Caribbean, fought in the revolutionary war alongside George Washington, and became a founding father of the nation is told.  

The Disney+’s filmed version of “Hamilton” was released on July 3rd. It is nearly 3 hours long and has the original Broadway cast in the recording. Yet, one question remains: how does this filmed version compare to seeing it live in a theater? There is a lot to take into account when deciding which version is truly better than the other. Personally, I feel that nothing beats seeing it live in the theater, but the filmed version does have some perks.

The most apparent difference between the two versions is availability. In Chicago, tickets to “Hamilton” were priced anywhere between $65-$190. They could also be higher during busy holiday seasons and for better seats. And let’s be honest: not everyone can just drop $150 on a ticket to a musical. Disney+ offers a much more budget-friendly way to watch the musical. 

Disney+ costs $7 a month, and it allows you to watch everything in the library, including “Hamilton.” This allows for a much more significant percentage of the population to have access to the musical. 

As I said before, seeing it in the theater is my favorite method of consumption, and that is mainly because of the experience. The waiting in line outside, getting your ticket scanned, and making your way to your seats creates an atmosphere that really cannot be replicated. It is similar to seeing a baseball game or a football game live–nothing can really create the same energy that you find in a stadium. After the show, there is also an option of waiting outside at the stage door to meet some of the cast members. I didn’t do that, but I think it would be a really cool experience to be able to. 

The filmed version just cannot replicate that feeling for me. However, I can see someone liking it more because you can just sit on your couch in your pajamas and watch Hamilton whenever you want at the click of a button. 

One major bright side of the filmed version is the editing and close up shots. This allows you to see close-ups on the character’s facial expressions, which really helps bring out the themes of the musical and creates a much more emotional atmosphere. And that is something that no seat in a theater can get you, no matter how close you are. 

Finally, for the people who are very into musical theater, the Disney+ version is filmed with the original Broadway cast.

When I saw the production in Chicago, it did not have the original cast. The Chicago cast was still very talented and put on an outstanding show. 

Overall, both versions of the show left watchers speechless. I prefer the live show because of the energy that the theaters create. However, Disney+ created a version that is much more affordable, has the original cast, and can be watched at any time.