‘Hamilton’: One Pivotal Scene Didn’t Make It From Musical to Soundtrack
For those who never have had a chance to see Hamilton live on Broadway, the cast album has primarily filled in for the last five years. Now with the filmed version of Hamilton available on Disney+, fans can finally put the visuals to the music. However, they might notice some slight changes between the two.
According to Lin-Manuel Miranda, he kept this particular scene off the cast album for a good reason. It has everything to do with a sense of theatrical discovery.
Which scene in ‘Hamilton’ has only dialogue?
Those who watched the filmed Disney+ version of Hamilton this July were probably surprised to see one scene with a small bit of dialogue. Considering most people who had not seen the show thought it was sung/rapped continuously without letup, they likely had an interesting discovery.
This was the sequence when Alexander Hamilton finds out John Laurens died. Laurens was a statesman and close friend of Hamilton’s in real life, including being an outspoken critic against slavery.
When Hamilton finds out his friend is dead, it leads to the only dialogue in the whole show, albeit Eliza reading a letter from Laurens’ father. Otherwise known as Tomorrow There’ll Be More of Us, it basically comes out as a spoken soliloquy more than sung.
Miranda avoided putting the sequence on the cast album for some intriguing and astute reasons. He explained why on his Tumblr page back in 2016, according to Mental Floss.
Lin-Manuel Miranda gave fans of the cast album an Easter egg
Yes, one could call this excised scene on the cast album an Easter egg since those who saw it in the live stage version were so surprised by it. Ultimately, this was Miranda’s intention. Said Miranda himself on his Tumblr: “Hamilton is sung through, and I wanted to have at least ONE revelation in store for you. I stand by the decision, and I think the album is better for it.”
He explained that when he was younger, cast albums of Broadway shows would often leave off at least one scene so it would leave a sense of surprise when one saw the show live. In other words, this carried on a bit of a Broadway cast album tradition.
For those who saw the show live, they know the Laurens death scene has a major emotional impact due to how it affects Hamilton. Most fans of the show agreed with Miranda’s artistic choice here, if also for consistency on the album itself. Hearing dialogue on cast albums without visual aids can sometimes fall flat.
Based on comments on Miranda’s Tumblr above, fans loved the decision. Said one person: “I will NEVER forget when I found this out. I accepted it and then a year later when I saw it in Chicago, I lost ALL my marbles during the scene.”
Many fans realized ‘Hamilton’ is more visual than they thought
To see why the Tomorrow There’ll Be More of Us scene needs to be seen, all one has to do is watch the entire movie capture of the musical on Disney+. A lot is there to take in visually, including the symbolic set. And, of course, the costumes are also a sight to behold.
More so, the expressions of the actors enhance how the raps and songs are performed. For the last five years, many probably heard Eliza Schuyler Hamilton’s wail in the final scene on the recording without seeing Phillipa Soo’s expressions. Putting them together proves there really was a distinct difference between the cast album and seeing the live show all the way through.