I am one of the biggest Broadway fans around. When I first heard about Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton" close to five years ago, I dreamed of seeing the show live. I asked for the soundtrack for Christmas that year and listened to it almost every day for a good year. Yes, I'm one of those theater kids. Finally, this last Christmas, my parents took my sister and I to see the show on stage in Indianapolis, and let me tell you, it will blow you away. When I found out that Disney+ would be streaming the original stage production of the show I jumped up and down with glee at my dream of seeing the original cast perform. In honor of "Hamilton" being streamed on Disney+ on July 3rd (assuming Disney+ doesn't have a nervous breakdown after having everyone try to watch the show at the same time), here are 9 things you need to know before watching "Hamilton: An American Musical":
The show is almost entirely sung.
You might feel the urge to wait for that moment when the song finally fades, the applause stops, and the dialogue begins. Let me inform you that those moments are sparing, so keep your ears pealed.
If you don't pay attention, you may not catch all the words to the songs.
This show is a wonderful mix of traditional Broadway music, rap, hip hop, and jazz, so sometimes the songs get fast and the lyrics become blurred together if you aren't paying attention.
It's more funny than you may expect.
One might expect a musical about the founding fathers of America to be very serious. However, there is a great amount of humor and lightness in the show that makes it even better, especially enhanced by the blocking and character movements.
The choreography is gorgeous.
The dancing is out of this world. There are props, lifts, and a moving stage. It is entirely possibly that the dancers have one of the hardest tasks in the show having to quickly change the mood from revolutionaries in a bar, to losing men on the battlefield at Yorktown, to celebrating a wedding all with twirls and tricks.
The colorblind casting represents what America looks like today.
The United States of America is a diverse culture of people from all over the world. Everyone looks different and holds different beliefs. This cast features people of color in several of the founding fathers' roles, going against history, showing what America has become. America is a land of opportunity for everyone.
Same actors, completely different characters, equally astonishing voices.
The actors that play John Laurens, Hercules Mulligan, Marquis de Lafayette, and Peggy Schuyler in Act I, play Philip Hamilton, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Maria Reynolds in Act II.
Maria Reynolds' note singing "staaaaayyy" is possibly one of the best notes ever uttered.
I wish I had these vocals. The entire show has outstanding lyrics, songs, and incomprehensible notes, but the power behind this one is incredible.
Keep the tissues on hand.
Some of the songs and ballads, particularly in Act II, are so powerful and emotionally packed that it breaks your heart.
Lin-Manuel Miranda created, wrote music for, developed lyrics for, and starred in the show.
Let's also remember that this entire show was made possible because Lin-Manuel Miranda wanted a big book to read on vacation, decided that Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton would suffice, and while reading, found that Alexander's life was the perfect hip hop and rap inspiration.