So, I read this little blurb on the internet about how someone was sad that they wouldn’t get to see Hamilton with the original cast. At first I was like, “Aww”, because I’m a sucker that way, but then I started thinking about it more. (With a family member a career stage actor, I practically grew up in a theatre, so I actually do have some point of reference for the opinions below.)
Yeah, it might be a loss not to see Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton, but what separates theatre from TV & movies (no offense to film/TV actors intended) is that theatre is a lot more dynamic, while TV/film is more static. I can (and have) seen the same show, with the same cast, more times than I can count, and it’s always different and new. I never got bored (no matter how many times I saw it from backstage or from behind the lights/sound board).
Voice inflections, presentation, evolution of character(s)–these are constantly shifting on the stage. Live theatre is real in a way that TV and movies aren’t, and I think that it forges a stronger connection between the actors and the audience. (Though I’m still bothered by the mics now used for live theatre. <–Old-school “PROJECT!!!!” *laughs*)
TV and movies are great fun, but I see it as pretty much a one-shot deal, even though a scene might have multiple takes (I’ve only done a little teeny bit of film work, so I have to rely on a outsider’s perspective, here.). Once the final shot for a scene is done, that’s it. It’s over, which seems kinda scary in its finality. But that’s what I mean by static. Plus, it seems that film and TV work is so image-based. You have to have the right look for the screen, on top of the acting ability. And so much afterwards revolves around that image, whether intentionally maintained or not.
So, while it’s kinda sad to miss out on seeing Lin-Miranda Manuel in Hamilton, it’s actually not that big of a deal in the realm of stage theatre. It’s the character that’s who/what is important, not the actor who’s playing said character. Because that’s what theatre is all about…dynamic, alive, and a different show every night, whether it’s Manuel or the “new” Hamilton, Javier Muñoz. I have every faith that “new” Hamilton will be just as fantastic, even though it’s different.
I like to think that Lin-Miranda Manuel would agree.