With the release of Hamilton on Disney+ on July 3rd, many fans old and new have been running to stream the cast recording. But let’s be honest, there are only so many times you can listen to “My Shot”.
I listen to musical theatre more frequently than I would like to admit and love recommending shows. While their work will always be applauded, the cast members have been in amazing shows in pre and post-Hamilton. So to celebrate their work and introduce more musical listening, I’ve put together this list. Listed below are productions the Hamilton cast members performed in or were involved in the making of. Happy listening!
In the Heights
In the Heights takes place over the course of three days in Washington Heights. Its’ themes cover community and hope while depicting immigrant issues. In 2008, it deservedly won the Tony for Best Musical. It stars Christopher Jackson and Lin-Manuel Miranda who wrote the music and lyrics. The film adaptation was set to premiere this past June. However, due to COVID-19 health concerns, the release is rescheduled to next year.
Bring it On
This film to stage adaptation has music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Amanda Green, and Tom Kitt. This musical received nominations for Best Musical and Best Choreography. If you’re a Mean Girls: The Musical fan, you may also recognize Regina George actor, Taylor Louderman. This Broadway cast also features Hamilton ensemble member, Ariana DeBose.
West Side Story
Speaking of Ariana DeBose (yes, you will see her name on the list again), she will be playing Anita in the upcoming film remake of West Side Story. This is one of my favorite musicals and I am so excited to see Latinx actors cast appropriately. Sorry, Natalie Wood. Also, Lin-Manuel Miranda translated the famous lyrics from English to Spanish for authenticity for the 2009 revival. The story is most known for being a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, but it also speaks to racial violence. Please, give this timeless classic your attention!
This musical stars, you guessed it, Ariana Dubose. Well, she will soon. The Netflix adaptation will be released this upcoming fall and stars heavyweights Meryl Streep, James Corden, and Andrew Rannels, who played King George in Hamilton briefly. In the show, Broadway actors travel to Indiana after hearing that a teenage girl was not allowed to bring her girlfriend to prom. Although it sounds like a downer, it is loosely based on a true story and is delightful.
Based on the 2001 French comedy of the same name, this 2017 Broadway musical starred Phillipa Soo. Although its’ time on the stage was brief, the story was uplifting and contained some great pieces of music. At one point, in the song “Goodbye Amélie’s” she imagines Elton John singing her praises and it’s adorable.
Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
Another fantastic Phillipa Soo hit. Before Hamilton, She starred as Natasha in the off-Broadway production of The Great Comet of 1812 after she graduated from Julliard. This musical is based on Tolstoy’s War and Peace, but it is much more engaging than the original text. Okieriete Onaodowan, who played Hercules Mulligan and James Madison in Hamilton joined the Broadway cast briefly before the show closed.
Jonathan Groff may be known as King George to many, but before he was spitting during “You’ll Be Back,” he was playing a 19th-century German teenager discovering his sexuality. The production won eight Tony awards, and its’ 2015 revival produced by DeafWest received three nominations. It has an alternative rock score, and I guarantee it will make you cry. And oh yes, in case you were wondering why people in the video above looked familiar; Lea Michelle and Skyler Astin were in the original cast.
A New Brain
Jonathan Groff again! In 2015, Groff played the role of Gordon Michael Schwinn at the New York City Center. With music and lyrics by William Finn, this musical is semi-autobiographical. It details how art carried him through an arteriovenous malformation.
Leap of Faith
The talented Leslie Odom, Jr. played Isaiah Sturdevant in this musical adapted from the movie of the same name. It has music by Alan Menken, writer of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Little Shop of Horrors. The list goes on. Although, it was not a hit and the stage musical has a history that dissimilar to many other shows; it was received four Tony awards after its’ closing.
The Color Purple
Another film adaptation! Renée Elise Goldsberry originated the role of Nettie in 2005. The original production received ten Tony nominations, and its’ 2015 revival received four and won Best Revival.
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