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Trivia / Hamilton

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  • Acting for Two: Several roles are doubled between Acts One and Two: Lafayette / Thomas Jefferson, John Laurens / Philip Hamilton, Peggy Schuyler / Maria Reynolds, Hercules Mulligan / James Madison, Philip Schuyler / James Reynolds. When Lin-Manuel Miranda was asked on Twitter why Peggy Schuyler joined her sisters saying "Me, I loved him," in the opening number, he said the actress was meant to represent both Peggy and Maria in that moment, and that so too did the other doubled actors, congratulating listeners who caught the double meaning in such lines as "We fought with him", which could refer to Jefferson and Madison, who opposed Hamilton politically, or Lafayette and Mulligan, who fought alongside him in the war; as well as "Me, I died for him", which is sung by the actor playing Phillip Hamilton and John Laurens, both of whom were close to Hamilton and died. Named roles other than the principals are played by chorus members, who often return as soldiers, townspeople, courtiers, and/or slaves, often with ironies such as the slave identified as Sally Hemings returning as a woman who has sex with Philip.
  • Approval of God:
    • Lin-Manuel Miranda has made it quite clear he loves it when people make fan content for the show, and often shares some of it on his social media pages.
    • Miranda also gave his seal of approval to Forbidden Broadway's Spamilton, which sends up Lin, the show, and the following it received. Lin even took a selfie with the actor who plays him!
    • He was also delighted with the "Weird Al" Yankovic parody "Hamilton Polka".
  • Ascended Meme: The CIA, of all entities, made a HERCULES MULLIGAN joke on their official Twitter account on the Fourth of July. No, seriously.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: This show goes with (and repopularized) the idea that Hamilton aimed at the sky during his duel with Burr. The idea has some genuine following in academic circles since his pre-duel notes imply that he never intended to shoot Burr (and his historically good aim lends some credence to the idea that he missed on purpose), but, unfortunately, this is untrue. After the duel, it was discovered that Hamilton's shot hit a tree directly behind Burr, meaning that while it's still possible that he did intentionally miss, he didn't aim in the air to do so.
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  • Billing Displacement: Of a sort. The curtain call has only Hamilton and Eliza's actors gettin individual bows, with everyone else (including those two) bowing together. It makes sense for Hamilton since it's his story, but Eliza being the only other now is odd considering that Burr is the second largest role and he doesn't receive one. Eliza's bow could be chalked up to leading the final number which also places her right in front of the audience at the end, but it still gives off the wrong impression of the leading parts' sizes.
  • Cast Incest: Jasmine Cephas-Jones (Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds) and Anthony Ramos (John Laurens/Philip Hamilton) are engaged. Peggy is Philip's aunt.
  • Colbert Bump:
    • This musical has sparked interest in not only Hamilton's life, but that of Aaron Burr, John Laurens, the Marquis de Lafayette, Hercules Mulligan, and the Schuyler sisters, especially among young people. In fact, the show's popularity has been credited with the U.S. Treasury forgoing their plan to replace Hamilton on the $10 bill.
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    • Copies of the Chernow biography (the source for the show) now have "Inspiration for the hit musical Hamilton" stickers on them, and newer editions use the show's poster as the cover. It's also a common joke in the fandom that reading the biography is shorthand for "I can't afford tickets to Hamilton." Copies of the book have also been sold in the lobby of the theater.
    • The show has also brought much-deserved attention to Graham-Windham, which is the current name of the orphanage Eliza Hamilton founded.
  • Creator-Preferred Adaptation: Ron Chernow, who wrote the Hamilton biography that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda in the first place, was initially skeptical about making a musical from Hamilton's life, but changed his mind after his first meeting with Miranda, who stressed that he wanted Hamilton to be taken seriously by historians and asked Chernow to help him develop the script. Chernow said his skepticism melted the moment he heard Miranda's first song, and was completely on board afterwards. He's supposedly seen the show dozens of times, always as a paying customer.
  • Cut Song:
    • "Dear Theodosia (Reprise)", in which Aaron Burr must tell his daughter that her mother, his wife, has passed away.
    • "Congratulations", a song for Angelica right before "Burn", calling Alexander out for the dumb choices he's made. One section ("I know my sister like I know my own mind...") was inserted into "The Reynolds Pamphlet" when it was removed.
    • There was also a rap in which Hamilton gave John Adams a "Reason You Suck" Speech. The line "Sit down John, you fat motherfuckstick" made it into "The Adams Administration". Listen to it here.
    • "One Last Ride", a song in which Washington puts down the Whiskey Rebellion before retiring from office. It was reworked into "One Last Time" which had Washington convincing Hamilton help him write his farewell address.
    • The Dark Reprise of "The Story of Tonight" was left off the cast album, mostly because the scene is almost entirely spoken instead of sung or rapped, but also to leave something for the stage show.
    • "Diplomacy Happens at Night" was to be a song for Benjamin Franklin, who ended up being cut entirely from the show. His role was cut early on in the show's development, but Miranda finished writing the song anyway, joking that they'll add it back in after his death. How does he write like he's running out of time? The song was retooled as "Ben Franklin's Song" and performed by The Decemberists, being the first of The Hamildrops to be released.
    • The song is still present, but "Schuyler Defeated" was much longer at first, with Eliza having a greater reaction to Burr usurping her father's Senate seat and rushing to the chamber (with Phillip in tow) to keep Alexander from losing his cool. This would have been Burr and Eliza's only direct interaction in the play, and Burr also alludes to his wife Theodosia's illness.
  • Dawson Casting: In the original Broadway production, Anthony Ramos plays Hamilton's son Phillip at both 19 and 9 years of age.
  • Development Hell: Miranda has noted that for a while he was managing to write only one song for the show each year. It took seven years to complete.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Jonathan Groff has been quite open about how he's a "naturally wet" guy, prone to massive drooling when he has to play big emotional moments. This fits quite well with his playing King George, who was noted for the same thing during his mental breakdown.
  • Fan Community Nicknames: "Hamilton Trash", which is usually shortened to "Hamiltrash", or rephrased to "the trash of the thing", as LMM once put it. They're also called "Hamilfans."
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Not a fan-invented nickname, but it's relatively common in the fandom to just refer to Alexander Hamilton as just "Alex," "Hams" or "Hammie" (Or, thanks to his Passive-Aggressive Kombat in "Your Obedient Servant", "A.Ham".)
    • Peggy Schuyler is often referred to as "AND PEGGY!" thanks to the meme around that line.
    • Human Disaster Aaron Burr.
    • Thomas Jefferson is sometimes semi-affectionately referred to as "T-Jeffs", either for the sake of brevity or because Thomas Jefferson would probably hate that, and the significantly less affectionate, "Thomas Jefferson: America's Original Fuckboy". James Madison is similarly referred to as "J-Mads".
      • Due to allegedly being so enamoured with Mac'n'Cheese that he brought tons of it to America, many refer to Jefferson as a "Macaroni Fucker".
    • Hamilton, Laurens, Lafayette and Mulligan are referred to as "The Hamilsquad".
    • Lafayette is often called a "Large Baguette", since they sound very similar and he's portrayed as stereotypically French.
    • The cast album is often called "Hamiltunes" by fans and Lin alike.
    • "Smol Philip" for nine-year-old Philip Hamilton, particularly in fan art and videos.
    • In some circles, the show itself is jokingly referred to as Epic Rap Battles of History - The Musical.
    • The filmed performance of the show quickly gained the name "Hamilfilm".
  • Improv:
    • In "The Room Where it Happens", Burr's line "Congress is fighting over where to put the capital" is followed by incomprehensible shouting from the chorus who were told they could shout any location they wanted but preferably somewhere in the Thirteen Colonies. Lin-Manuel Miranda has noted that even he's not sure if the cast followed that instruction.
    • Choreography-wise, the reason why the last third of "The Reynolds Pamphlet" is such complete chaos because it's complete improvisation - in essence, as long as no one directly touches Hamilton or gets in King George's way while he's walking, everyone can do whatever they want.
  • Killer App: The live recording brought in many people to Disney+, as the service's app got downloaded 266,084 times (an increase of 72% compared to the whole previous month!) and one month later, 37.1% of subscribers had watched the film.
  • Meaningful Release Date: The July 3 Disney+ release date falls on the last Friday before Independence Day in the US. It is also the day the Declaration was signed and right after the Lee Declaration on July 2. John Adams even wrote the third would be treated as the "true" Independence Day.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: During 'You'll be Back' on the cast album, Jonathan Groff slips back into his American accent a few times ("You'll be the one complaining when I am gone...")
  • The Other Marty: The workshop reading had only a handful of the same cast members from the OBC. Among the notable differences: Utkarsh Ambudkar played Burr, Anika Noni Rose played Angelica, Joshua Henry (who would later play Burr in the first US tour) played Mulligan, Madison and King George, and Javier Muñoz played Laurens/Philip.
  • Production Posse: Many of the original cast and crew worked on other projects with Miranda: mainly Chris Jackson (Miranda's Freestyle Love Supreme bandmate and the original Benny in Heights), Alex Lacamoire (who also was music director and conductor for Heights), Seth Stewart (an ensemble member and Lafayette/Jefferson understudy, the original "Graffiti Pete" in Heights), and Andy Blankenbuehler (choreographer for Heights).
  • Reality Subtext: Not quite intentional, but Javier Muñoz's turn as Hamilton (as Lin's alternate and eventual replacement) is almost certainly colored by the fact that he is HIV+ and had cancer during the first year of the show. "I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory" indeed.
    • The performance of "The Schuyler Sisters" at the 2020 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Given how hard New York City was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and how even the much-beloved parade had to be massively re-worked due to the new safety precautions, the lines "look around at how lucky we are to be alive right the greatest city in the world" take on a whole new meaning.
  • Release Date Change: In February 2020, Disney announced that they would be releasing a filmed performance of the show (recorded in 2016 with the original Broadway cast) to theaters in October 2021 with a Disney+ release to follow soon after. Three months later the theatrical release was scuttled for just a Disney+ release, which was moved up to July 3 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic throwing the state of movie theaters in flux (not to mention the original play and all of Broadway).
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: At the Adrienne Arsht Center performance of the play, the conductor and orchestra pit is too far from the stage for Jefferson to hand a copy of the Reynolds Pamphlet to the conductor. Instead, the conductor reveals he already has a copy and waves it. Still hilarious and doubles as Throw It In!.
  • Shown Their Work: Two of the lines from "The Reynolds Pamphlet", "My real crime is an amorous connection with his wife" and "I had frequent meetings with her, most of them in my own house", are lifted verbatim from the real life document. A third, "the charge against me is a connection with one James Reynolds for purposes of improper (pecuniary) speculation", is only missing the one parenthetical word.
  • Shrug of God: In an interview after the show was released on Disney+, Miranda joked that, while the Schuyler sisters are definitely not Disney Princesses (since their entire point is to join the revolution and not be part of a monarchy), he isn't certain if King George III now counts as Disney royalty.
  • Star-Making Role: While some of them were decently established beforehand, all of the Broadway principles' profiles were noticeably boosted by the show.
    • Lin-Manuel Miranda was already known in the theatre community after In the Heights, but much like the show itself, he exploded in popularity, effectively becoming a bonafide A-lister, consistently working afterwards as an actor, composer, producer, and director.
    • Leslie Odom Jr. gained steady work with major roles in film and television while also focusing on his career as a musician, later picking up award buzz for both his acting and song writing for One Night in Miami.
    • Daveed Diggs would go on to make prominent appearances in cinema and TV, even getting to star in, write, and produce his own film Blindspotting.
  • Those Two Actors: Christopher Jackson and Javier Muñoz also starred in Lin-Manuel Miranda's other Broadway hit In the Heights, along with Miranda himself.
  • Throw It In!: Jefferson's response to Madison asking "Where have you been?" of "Uh... France?" was ad libbed by Diggs.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Before deciding on Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda considered writing a musical on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals. However, he decided against it after Steven Spielberg's Lincoln went into production first.
    • Lin-Manuel Miranda original conceived the show as a Concept Album. If his 2010 White House performance of the first number is any indication, the first number was originally only sung by Aaron Burr.
    • Hamilton's line "How could I do this?" in "Say No to This" was originally "How could you do this?", until Miranda realized that his recognizing his own guilt was the only way he could retain any sympathy.
    • John Laurens, in-universe and in history. Lin-Manuel Miranda has stated in the libretto that he considers Laurens' potential to be the greatest 'what if' in American history—as Laurens was (possibly/probably) gay, an ardent and outspoken abolitionist, and a favorite of Washington's (not unlike Lafayette and Hamilton himself). Lin goes on to state that he has no doubt that Laurens and Hamilton together could have accomplished so much more had Laurens' life not been cut short.
    • Leslie Odom Jr. was contracted by NBC in late 2013 to play "Lucas Newsome" in the NBC show State of Affairs. To take part in the workshops for "Hamilton," though, he had to ask to be released from his contract to do so. (He admitted once he saw the script, he wanted to join in.) If they hadn't released him, he might not have won the 2016 Tony for Best Actor in a Musical because he'd have been stuck on a show that only lasted part of the 2014-2015 season.
      • Fortunately, Robert Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC Entertainment, did so with his okay, as he was also a theater fan himself (and a producer who later invested in "Hamilton" as well).
    • In 2020, Miranda released a Cut Song called “I Have This Friend” which was originally the lead-up to the Reynolds Pamphlet before being replaced with "Hurricane," where Hamilton asks Washington’s advice and is told to just ignore any accusations, only to not listen and publish the Pamphlet. He explained that it seemed like too much of a "one joke" song, and the moment should be treated more seriously.
  • Word of Gay: Sort of. Miranda has mentioned Hamilton's bisexuality a couple times on twitter and confirmed there are intentional "nods" to it in the show. He openly speculates about the possibility in one of the footnotes in Hamilton: The Revolution, pointing out that the notoriously outspoken Hamilton, whose pages and pages of writing about every subject he felt even a little strongly about are a major theme of the show, wrote almost nothing about John Laurens' death, and that the silence itself is profound.


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