‘Hamilton’: How ‘House’ Star Hugh Laurie Helped Shape 1 of the Most Popular Songs
Due to the nature of the filmed stage performance, the Disney+ presentation of Hamilton isn’t heading for the Oscar stage. This release will no doubt inspire a whole new legion of fans, many of whom will be shocked to learn House star Hugh Laurie inspired its biggest songs.
The ‘Hamilton’ score is incredibly detailed and meticulous
It’s not every day a Broadway musical becomes as instantly iconic as Hamilton. And Miranda’s music is a huge reason why it has resonated with audiences. The show combines hip hop, R&B, jazz, and other musical influences into a distinctive sound. Then, armed with this eclectic style, Hamilton’s sings and raps its way through American history.
No wonder crafting the musical was such a daunting task. Some songs took Miranda as long as two years to crack. In the end, creating Hamilton was more than worth all the effort. The show became extremely lucrative, scooping up Tony Awards. Miranda himself emerged as a household name, landing gigs working on Moana and Mary Poppins Returns with Disney.
Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspired by his guest stint on ‘House’
But one particular tune stands out from the pack. Hamilton focuses almost exclusively on the perspective of the Founding Fathers. But in the most obviously comedic role, it also allows King George III — originated on Broadway by Frozen’s Jonathan Groff — to chime in sporadically.
King George emerges three times throughout the show with messages for the emerging United States. Early on, he proclaims “You’ll Be Back” in a melody inspired by British invasion songs. Yet, during his three-episode stint on House, Miranda’s greatest inspiration came from Laurie himself.
“I told him I wanted to write a breakup letter from King George to the colonies,” Miranda wrote in the behind-the-scenes book Hamilton: The Revolution (via Mental Floss). “Without blinking, he improv’d at me, ‘Awwww, you’ll be back,’ wagging his finger. I laughed and filed it away. Thanks, Hugh Laurie.”
King George has become a breakout character in the musical
In large part due to the tongue-in-cheek nature of his songs, King George has become one of the standout characters in Hamilton. The show is certainly at its funniest when he is onstage, as his over-the-top demeanor is in stark contrast to the rest of the story.
Groff’s previous notoriety from Frozen and TV’s Glee likely helped fuel that response among hardcore fans. And now Disney+ subscribers can literally watch Frozen II and Hamilton back to back. With as much fun as the actor is singing Miranda’s songs, audiences will definitely be back for more.