Lin-Manuel Miranda

‘Hamilton' Airs on Disney+: For People of Color, an American Story ‘That Could Be Theirs'

The show’s diverse casting and contemporary sound, says Princeton professor Brian Herrera, makes the past seem relevant and accessible

In this July 9, 2016, file photo, Lin-Manuel Miranda performs his final performance as "Alexander Hamilton" in "Hamilton" on Broadway at The Richard Rogers Theatre in New York City.
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic via Getty Images

To borrow a phrase from the Broadway smash "Hamilton," this weekend millions of Americans will have the opportunity to be in "the room where it happens." Only that room will probably be their living room, NBC News reports.

Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton" will premiere exclusively on Disney+ on Friday. And it arrives at a moment when the country is reeling from a pandemic, a polarized political climate and protests over police brutality against African Americans.

Brian E. Herrera, associate professor of theater at Princeton University, is interested in how the show reverberates with a broad audience.

"Hamilton," Herrera said, is brilliant because it invites audiences, particularly young people and people of color, to think of the American story as one "that could be theirs." The Founding Fathers and most of the cast are Black and brown, and Miranda imagines the rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr, for example, as a rap battle.

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