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Daveed Diggs raps around six words a second during “Guns and Ships.”
First, Hamilton was filmed over the course of three days and is a combination of filming two live performances and filming close-ups, dolly shots, Steadicam and crane shots without an audience.
In total, Jonathan Groff is only on stage for nine minutes as King George III — he said the role helped him figure out how to “do a lot with a little.”
The song that left the biggest impression on Leslie Odom Jr. after he saw Hamilton during an early staging was “The Story of Tonight.”
Okieriete Onaodowan was originally called in to audition for George Washington before being asked to play Hercules Mulligan/James Madison.
Everyone agrees that the most difficult part of the rehearsal process for Hamilton was “learning ‘Helpless’ and ‘Satisfied’ on a turntable.”
Before coming up with “Satisfied,” Lin-Manuel wasn’t even sure Angelica would be a character in Hamilton — he didn’t think he had would have “time to get into that.”
Also, Ratatouille helped the creative team come up with the idea of time stopping, going into Angelica’s mind, and learning her feelings about Eliza and Hamilton’s relationship in “Satisfied.”
Even though Renée Elise Goldsberry is rapping and performing “Helpless” backward during “Satisfied,” she found the final toast the most challenging part of the entire number.
Lin-Manuel actually added an entire second section to “Guns and Ships” for Daveed Diggs simply because they were all so impressed with his sense of rhythm.
Also, during Lafayette’s fastest rap in “Guns and Ships,” Daveed Diggs averages around 6.3 words a second — it’s the fastest-paced lyrics in musical theater history.
Choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler was the one who came up with the concept for The Bullet as a character and then, Ariana DeBose “ran with it.”
In fact, Ariana’s performance is something you might miss the first time around, but if you watch her, The Bullet essentially becomes an omen of death throughout the entire show.
Lin-Manuel wrote the middle portion of “Right Hand Man” during a tech rehearsal — there wasn’t time to type up the lyrics, so music director and orchestrator Alex Lacamoire worked off of Lin’s scribbled notes.
Phillipa Soo would stay completely in character when Eliza sits next to Philip while teaching him piano. Andrew Chappelle, who understudied Philip, said they would talk about Philip being nervous to perform the poem for Hamilton.
During “Dear Theodosia,” Leslie Odom Jr. would actually bow his head and say a little prayer for his daughter, who wasn’t born yet.
Renée Elise and Lin-Manuel would watch Phillipa perform “Burn” every single night offstage in the wings.
Also, the letters are on a type of paper that burns for around two minutes and nine seconds — this is so the flame is noticeable while Eliza is onstage, but extinguishes so she can exit in a blackout at the end of the song.
Daveed originally improvised Jefferson’s “France” line during “What’d I Miss” and they decided to keep it in the show.
The meaning of Eliza’s final gasp often changed for Phillipa, but she thinks it can be interpreted as a combination of Eliza getting to heaven, Eliza seeing Alexander, and even Eliza seeing the audience and realizing her legacy.
In fact, the final gasp wasn’t written in the script and the show simply ended with the final notes of “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” — Lin-Manuel realized they could add another moment that would “extend beyond” the end.
And finally, the locations featured in the “Special Thanks” portion of the credits are all of the places Lin-Manuel wrote Hamilton over the course of 7 years.
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