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A YouTube History of Hamilton: Watch How the Show Went from Idea to Phenomenon

June 30, 2020 by Abby Bien
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The story of how Hamilton went from inside Lin-Manuel Miranda’s brain to being stuck in all of our brains all the time — not that we’re complaining — is almost as interesting as the story of Hamilton itself. In honor of the show coming to Disney+ on July 3 we took a digital footprint deep dive. Below is your very own Original Broadway Cast Hamilton + YouTube rabbit hole. You’re welcome.

Let’s start at the very beginning: Lin-Manuel Miranda performs at The White House

In 2009 Lin-Manuel Miranda was invited to perform in the White House Poetry Jam. What President Obama thought he’d be seeing onstage that night was a song from Miranda’s Tony-winning musical In the Heights. What he got instead was the *very early* stages of the opening Hamilton number. Lucky for all of us this performance was caught on film. Check it out and then watch Miranda chat with his friend Jimmy Fallon about the (now) historic White House memory.

It’s happening downtown: Hamilton opens off-Broadway at The Public Theater

The first home for Hamilton was at The Public Theater, an off-Broadway institution in downtown Manhattan. This trailer is where a whole lot of your fave GIFs from the show come, was the world’s first look at the soon-to-be hit, and is just all-around a pretty perfect way to spend a minute.

History has its eyes on you: Hamilton opens on Broadway

For so many cast and crew members of the original Hamilton production, opening night on Broadway was the culmination of years and years of work with the story — both onstage and off. From funny moments on the red carpet to honest reflections from performers, the entire day was monumental.

Young, Scrappy, and Hungry: Ham4Ham lottery performances start

This part of the Hamilton story encapsulates the best parts of the theater community. When Hamilton first opened on Broadway, tickets were especially hard to find. The show was sold-out months in advance, prices were high, and more and more people were falling in love with the show. A solution? Ham4Ham. For months — every single day — cast members and celeb cameos would come outside of the Richard Rodgers Theatre in NYC, perform something funny or moving or both for the hundreds of people outside, and then a group of lottery winners from the crowd would get to see the show that very night in the front row, for $10.

Luckily, dozens of Ham4Ham performances were caught on camera and we’ve put some of our faves below. Even luckier, Ham4Ham has now become an online lottery that makes the experience more accessible, quicker, and the reward is still just as sweet.

Not Throwing Away My Shot: Hamilton cast takes over TV

These days, the cast and creators of Hamilton are regular fixtures on our TV screens. When the show first became a hit, so many of them got to make their first appearances on late night. Stephen Colbert was an early and eager fan of the show and featured several of the original stars. Take a look below. Before you know it, you’ll be watching every single interview every single one of them has done since.

Dreams of Glory: Hamilton wins all the awards

Hamilton won (almost) everything. It received a record-breaking 16 Tony Award nominations, won 11, got a Grammy Award, and casually received a Kennedy Center Honor. The real treat of their awards sweep was the speeches and the performances that came with them. Be sure to grab your tissues before you press “play” — you’re going to need them.

The Room Where It Happens: Hamilton Performs at The White House

The White House treated us to some sweet #content on the day Hamilton came to visit in 2016. There were speeches by President Obama, Michelle Obama, and historic performances in the home’s halls. Oh, and Obama helped Lin-Manuel Miranda freestyle in the Rose Garden. No big deal.

Who Tells Your Story?: The Hamilton Mixtape is released

Great art inspires great artists. In 2016, The Hamilton Mixtape is a reimagined record of every song in the show featuring the best singers and rappers we’ve got (think Busta Rhymes, Kelly Clarkson, Ashanti, and more). You can listen to the whole thing here but first make sure you watch the live performances and music videos below. Trust us, they’re incredible.

Nonstop: Hamilton is everywhere

Okay, there are like thousands of videos about Hamilton online. We did our best to roundup a timeline of faves with the original Broadway cast but there a few more that we just couldn’t not have in this list. So we’re putting them here. Enjoy the original Schuyler Sisters, the cast on Some Good News and with Jimmy Fallon, and a John Kander/Lin-Manuel Miranda collab that is quite literally a musical theater nerd’s dream come true.

Hamilton on Disney+

Hamilton is moving into our living rooms and we couldn’t be more excited. Check out the trailer below and a couple interviews about why this moment is so huge for Broadway, Hamilton fans, and the current climate we’re all living in together.