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Enter “The Room Where It Happens” in This 360-Degree Video Performance of Hamilton‘s “Wait For It”

Everybody loves Hamilton (except maybe the shows up against it at the Tony Awards this year). The problem is, not everyone can see Hamilton. Soundtrack-obsessed fans who can’t get to New York, don’t win the daily ticket lottery, or just can’t afford the steep ticket prices have been clamoring for a filmed version. Sadly, we’ll have to wait for it. But at least we get a taste for what it could be like as Leslie Odom Jr. and the rest of the cast give us a glimpse of the show in this special 360-degree video promoting the Tonys!

What amazes me most about the video, in addition to feeling like I’m in the theater and how powerful “Wait For It” sounds a capella, is the fact that Odom’s voice sounds so young. I’m used to the produced soundtrack, and on that he sounds much older. His voice is much deeper. In this video, he sounds more youthful, vulnerable, and I lament yet another way in which being in the theater with these people and these voices is a much deeper experience than simply hearing the music on Spotify, love it though I do.

But it also goes to show that filming the live performance would translate at least some of the experience in a way that the soundtrack doesn’t. Lin-Manuel Miranda is prioritizing getting as many people (including schoolchildren who might not have other opportunities to see a show like this) in the theater as possible, and that’s totally understandable. What’s more, I understand as a creator that the act of adaptation is a lengthy process, and one that requires translation.

That said, Hamilton has probably already been filmed for posterity, as the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center has an archive of every theatrical performance on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and for regional theater. The collection is only available for viewing by appointment only, and only by students or theater professionals for research purposes, but shows are all professionally filmed for viewing at some point early in their runs.

If the producers figured out a way to make that available on DVD/Blu-ray, or via iTunes, or via a Fathom movie experience across the country…let’s just say the stars, creator, and producers of Hamilton could probably get even bigger paychecks that include residuals. Also, despite what the fears might be, it certainly wouldn’t keep anyone able to get to the theater from going to see the show live. After all, everyone wants to be in the room where it happens.

The Tony Awards air Sunday, June 12th at 8PM EST on CBS and CBS All Access. 

(via Pajiba, image via screencap)

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