WASHINGTON — The hit Broadway musical "Hamilton" has arrived on Disney's streaming service just in time for the July 4th holiday weekend.
Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking rap musical about Alexander Hamilton has won Tony, Grammy and Olivier Awards, plus a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and special recognition by the Kennedy Center Honors.
Since the show debuted on Broadway in 2015, it's been performed to packed houses and sold-out crowds in New York City, London and cities across the United States.
It's consistently been one of the hottest (and most expensive) tickets in theater over recent years. In Jan. 2019, "Hamilton" became the first Broadway show ever to make more than $4 million in a single week.
While "Hamilton" has lots of loyal fans all around the world who know the cast album from start to finish, for many this will be the first time they've been able to see the show.
Whether or not you've seen the show before, here's what you need to know before your "Hamilton" movie experience.
When will "Hamilton" be released on Disney Plus?
The movie premiered on Friday, July 3 at 3:00 a.m. ET (12:00 a.m. PT) on Disney Plus. It was initially scheduled to hit movie theaters in Oct. 2021. But with theaters shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fast-tracked streaming arrival of "Hamilton" was a welcome bit of good news for theater lovers.
How long will "Hamilton" be on Disney Plus?
The first "Hamilton" trailer declared the film would be "Streaming Exclusively July 3," which had some worried that the movie would only be available for just one day - but that's not the case at all. While Disney hasn't officially said how long it'll be up, it is expected to be available to watch for quite a long time.
In response to a question about how long it'll be on Disney Plus, Lin-Manuel Miranda said "You will just have it. For as many times as you like, right next to A Goofy Movie and Talespin and An Extremely Goofy Movie..."
So while we don't have an exact answer, you can expect "Hamilton" to be available long after the July 4th holiday weekend.
Is there a way to watch "Hamilton" for free online?
No, you'll need a Disney Plus subscription to be able to watch the show. Disney Plus used to offer a free 7-day trial for new subscribers, but the streaming service recently ended that promotion.
There are three basic ways to subscribe:
- Monthly subscription for $6.99/month
- Annual subscription for $69.99/year (About $5.83 a month)
- Bundle subscription of Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu for $12.99/month.
You can cancel your subscription at any time, so you could subscribe for just one month to watch "Hamilton" and then cancel.
Is Hamilton appropriate for kids?
This filmed version of "Hamilton" was given a PG-13 rating by the Motion Picture Association of America because of gun violence and adult themes.
Creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda recently explained that language-wise they had to censor out two of the show's three "f-words" in order to avoid getting slapped with an R-rating.
Whether or not you feel "Hamilton" is appropriate for your kids will likely vary by family. So, parents may want to watch the show themselves first before gathering the whole family for a viewing.
How long is Hamilton?
161 minutes (With a one-minute countdown timer for intermission)
What is Hamilton about?
The musical charts the rise and fall of Alexander Hamilton, one of America's Founding Fathers. The show was written based on a best-selling biography of Hamilton by Ron Chernow. Miranda, who starred as Hamilton in the original Broadway production, happened to read the book on a whim during a vacation in 2007.
Miranda initially planned for his "Hamilton" project to just be a hip hop "concept album." He even performed the show's first song, "Alexander Hamilton," at a White House Poetry Jam in Nov. 2009.
Over the next five years, the "concept album" transformed into a full-fledged musical and had its off-Broadway debut in Jan. 2015.
Who's in this and when did they film it?
The movie features the original Broadway cast of "Hamilton" including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jonathan Groff, Christopher Jackson, Leslie Odom Jr., Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, Phillipa Soo and many others.
It was filmed in the summer of 2016 at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway. Thomas Kail, who won a Tony for directing "Hamilton" the musical, also directed this filmed version. The end result uses footage from two "Hamilton" performances, along with close-ups of the actors that were shot over the course of two days off.
"It was basically a three-day film shoot with the best rehearsed cast in the history of the movies. Because we'd all been doing the show for a year at this point," Miranda said recently.
Hamilton trailer and musical clips
Disney has released a number of clips from the movie to drum up excitement ahead of its premiere on Disney+. Here's a look at each one so far:
Hamilton Official Trailer
"Alexander Hamilton" Preview
"The Room Where It Happens" Preview
Cultural Phenomenon preview
The Associated Press contributed to this report.