If you are a fan of the mega-hit musical, “Hamilton,” I already KNOW you are super excited for the July 3rd release of the original Broadway production on Disney+. And if you’re a bit of a nerd like me, you’ve got all the lyrical puns cycling through your head: “I’m willing to wait for it!” “It’s only a matter of time…” “Just you wait!” “This’ll be the room where it happened,” and more.
Maybe you’ve never seen the show, but you love the soundtrack and can’t wait to see it for the first time, from the comfort of your living room. Maybe you’ve never heard the music at all, but you’ve always wanted to see it. Maybe you have heard of the show, but haven’t really gotten into it. And maybe, just maybe, you’ve never heard of this Broadway show at all.
You Should Absolutely Watch “Hamilton”
Regardless of which of the above groups you fall into, if you have any interest in watching it, I highly, HIGHLY recommend you do! It’s scheduled to be released at midnight Pacific Time / 3am Eastern Time in the USA, early Friday morning, so you can watch it anytime after that. (Don’t need to be convinced? Skip ahead to the party ideas under “Ready to Celebrate?!”)
Low cost: The Disney+ streaming service is available for a mere $6.99 a month, so even if you only watch “Hamilton” once (or three hundred times) and then cancel, it’s an incredible price! There’s also a ton of other great content on there, and it’s all available with your monthly or annual subscription.
High production quality: I saw Lin-Manuel Miranda, the mastermind behind the show’s story, music, and lyrics, on “Good Morning America” recently, talking about how they filmed the stage show performance over the course of just three days back in June 2016. So, the film is the actual show, with the original Broadway cast–something many people have never had the chance to see. It’s a pro-shoot, with closeup shots and, as Lin says, “all the coverage you would want to get in a movie.” It is going to be an incredible treat for sure!
Incredible show: I could seriously go on and on and on about this show, but to keep it brief I’ll say it has moved me more than any other show I’ve ever seen. I cried a few dozen times when I first saw it (admittedly, I’m a sap when it comes to compelling, moving storytelling ;)). The music, the story, the characters, the choreography, the lighting, the costumes… all of it is just so incredible and so well-done, you’ll understand when you see it why it is one of the most popular and successful musicals of all time.
Don’t like musicals? You may still love this, it’s a super fresh take on musical theater. Not interested in U.S. history? This show will likely have you completely engaged in its telling of the American Revolution, US Constitution, “founding fathers,” and more. Not interested in seeing an all-white cast on stage? You’re in luck: the show intentionally uses color-conscious casting, so you’ll see a black man portray George Washington, an Asian American woman play Alexander Hamilton’s wife, a Puerto Rican man play Alexander, and more. Not a huge fan of hip-hop? Neither is my mom, and she loves this show and the music. I’m guessing you will, too.
Basically, for any reason you think might make you not like the show, my hunch is that the way it all comes together will have you mesmerized and totally engrossed in it. Still not sold? Check out this awesome teaser-trailer for the film.
What about kids? If you are a parent, you may not be sure if you want your younger kids to watch the show, and I totally get that. (The film is rated PG-13 by the MPAA.) To help you decide, check out the Parents’ Guide I created. I’ll also add that I don’t let my 5 and 8 year old kids watch anything PG-13, but my husband and I did take them to see the show over Christmas last year, and they absolutely loved it.
The Parents’ Guide includes a description of content and language throughout the show that some parents may feel is inappropriate for their kids, as well as some tips on how we personally approached some of the more mature content with our own kids. If you’re not familiar with the show or songs, be sure to grab it and save yourself some time!
Ready to Celebrate?!
So… are you excited?! Thinking about having a socially-distant party with your roommates, family, or quarantine partners to celebrate the film’s release? We’ve got you covered! Check out some of our favorite food, decor, and activity ideas below. Want more? Take a look at our Hamilton Party Pinterest board, where we’ve got dozens of ideas you can use for a small gathering, a virtual celebration, or a future in-person birthday party!
There are SO MANY ways you can have fun with food for a Hamilton viewing party. If you’re familiar with the soundtrack, one of the easiest ways to have fun is by naming the food dishes after songs and lyrics from the show. A few of my favorites are below, including a few that we used for a friend’s surprise work anniversary celebration last summer.
Social distance tip: Gathering virtually? Share some fun food ideas with everyone so they have some options go all out or keep it super simple if they prefer.
Need more inspiration? Here you go! Bonus: we’ve got recipes for most of the ideas below pinned on our Pinterest board so it’s all in one place for you.
- A. Ham and Cheese platter, sandwiches, or croissants (platter pictured above)
- Aaron Burr-gers, Sir
- Guns and Chips (you can add “With SalsaDip on the Side,” but that reference to “Washington On Your Side” might be too big of a leap?)
- Non-Stop Popcorn
- Satisfy-ing ______ (we used this for brownies, but any yummy dish or treat works!)
- Washington on Your Side Salad
- My Dearest Angelica Cake
- 32,000 Fruit in New York Harbor (fruit bowl/plate/kebabs) (pictured above)
- We Have Resorted to Eating Our… Veggies (or Beans, or anything you think is funny)
- Meaty Inside, or Meat Is Inside (for a meat-filled empanada, ravioli, hand pie, etc.)
- What Comes Next?, or “Awesome. Wow.” or Can’t Say No to This (for dessert)
- You’ll Be Back…for More, or You’ll Be (Baby) Back Ribs
- 10 Duel Condiments
- It Must Be Rice
- Winter’s Ball coconut balls (pictured above)
- Talk Less, Smile S’mores (fun parfait pictured above)
- Not Throwin’ Away My Shot (you could go so many directions with this: Jell-O shots, pudding shots, or a cookie shot, pictured above! Check out this cool pan to make them even easier)
- Next to Washington, They All Look Small (this would be fun to use for any mini-type of food, like sliders, mini pizzas, silver dollar pancakes if you’re having a morning party, mini cookies, petit fours, mini quiches… you get the idea)
Putting a snack out during intermission? You can have a cute little food tent or sign that says “Take a Break”! You can even make a little sign to put near the plates that says “Plate for It, Plate for It”.
More Themed Ideas: You can make your food dishes Independence Day-themed or red-white-and-blue and still do a play on words with Hamilton song lyrics and titles.
Or you could go all out and serve Colonial-era foods, so that you’re eating the same kinds of things Hamilton and his pals would have eaten at the end of the 18th century in the United States. Check out some ideas here, but be warned: they may not be the most flavorful! Think cornmeal mush, porridge, meat pies, pickles, and bread.
Or, if you have a star-shaped cookie cutter handy (or a few), you can keep it super simple and make lots of star-shaped foods. Think cookies, sandwiches, sliced cheese, pizza, fruit, brownies, practically anything!
Drinks: There are several fun drinks you can have if it’s an adult party with alcoholic beverages. Here are a few:
- I May Have Punched Him, It’s a Blur, Sir (this could of course be non-alcoholic)
- In the Eye of a Hurricane
- History is Happenin’ in Manhattan
- Sam Adams (bonus if it’s served in a pint glass)
- Dear Theambrosia
Of course, serving tea, milk, beer, ale, cider, whiskey, or Scotch Whiskey would all work for the time period of the show.
Cake: If you enjoy making cakes or cupcakes, there are lots of fun Hamilton-themed designs you could do. The simplest would probably be yellow-gold frosted cupcakes with a DIY cake topper of the star logo. If you’ve worked with fondant before, the possibilities are endless. Check out our Pinterest board for some inspiration. My personal favorite is this Schuyler sisters one from Theresa’s Bakery.
But if you’re not comfortable working with fondant, my talented friend Lauren used spray icing (like this) and a DIY cardstock stencil she made to create the awesome cake for our friend’s work anniversary.
Tips on this method from Lauren:
- Stay as close to the stencil as possible, or cover what you don’t want sprayed. Otherwise, the mist will go past the edges of your card stock and create an unwanted rectangular stencil around the design on your cake.
- We got the base cake from our local bakery, who did a great job creating the gold textured icing and black borders. Due to licensing restrictions, they weren’t allowed to create a Hamilton design, which is why we went the partial-DIY route.
As with any party, but especially with a virtual or socially-distant party with a limited number of guests, you can go all out with decorations or keep it simple. For my friend’s work party, we were on a budget and had a lot of tables in the room, so we kept it pretty simple. We used black craft paper cut to size for the table covering (see similar here), glittery gold stars (here), gold paper plates (here), and gold napkins (here).
One decor item we created that was easy to make were trifold centerpieces with different quotes from the show on each side. They were all different, and they really added so much to the tables. We printed them on 11″ x 17″ paper, which was a good size for our tables, but you could do them in any size. Then we folded the paper into thirds and taped the edges together. Done!
Social distance tip: Having a virtual party? Make these and send the file ahead of time to whoever is joining the party so they can print one out themselves!
We also printed out more quotes and some still images from the show to hang up around the room, and my talented friend Michelle created this awesome banner. Obviously, you may not be throwing a “congratulations” party, but you could create something similar for a viewing party. A banner that says “Hamilton,” “The Room Where It Happens,” or your favorite quote or song title would work great if you don’t have a guest of honor.
Want more decor? You could use gold and black balloons. For an eco-friendly, reusable option, you could use collapsable Chinese lanterns, like these! I personally have them in a whole rainbow of colors; they are a go-to of mine for practically every party.
If you’re having a viewing party, and keeping it simple, you probably don’t need any activities to entertain your fellow party-goers. But if you’re looking for some fun ideas for before or after the film, or during intermission, here are a few.
Social distance tip: All of these activities can easily be done virtually, too–just let everyone know what to have on hand or what to prepare ahead of time.
- Not Throwin’ Away My Shot – have a “Minute-to-Win-It” inspired toss game, where you have to throw marshmallows, jelly beans, etc. into a cup
- Pin the Comma After Dearest – like “Pin the Tail on the Donkey,” but players have to pin (or stick) a comma after the word “dearest” on a sign that says “My Dearest Angelica”. Print or draw enough commas for everyone on label/sticker paper and cut them out. Hang the sign on the wall. Players are blindfolded, spin around, and have to make their way to the sign and hope they stick the comma in the right spot. To spruce up the poster, add an image of Angelica (or Angelica and Alexander) to it.
- Blow Us All Away – Have everyone take a bottle of bubbles, and head outdoors for some fun! Or play this “Minute-to-Win-It” inspired competitive game, where players blow marshmallows across a line on a table using only a straw.
- Fun With Lyrics – play “complete the lyric” or “name that song” by having people pull a strip of pre-printed paper out of a bowl. (If you’re doing this virtually, you could read them aloud or have them on a file you can share on the video call screen.) Depending on how you want to play, the paper either has partial lyrics with some words missing that the person has to try to fill in verbally, or it’s an obscure lyric and the first person to name the song it’s from gets a point.
- TIP: To save yourself from having to do all the work, you can ask guests to submit three each a day or so before the party.
- Write Your Own Rap – Depending on your guests’ willingness to get creative, if they’re fans of the show and familiar with the music you could ask everyone to rewrite Hamilton’s rebuttal in “Farmer Refuted” before the party. Or they could write a new song or a new response to any song from the show, from the perspective of one of the characters.
- Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story? – This is a sentimental activity. Again, depending on your guests, how well they know each other, and how many people are invited, you could have each person write one line or thought about each of the other guests. This could be especially sweet among a family or close group of friends. If you want to put in a bit of extra effort, you could collect or capture all of the lines people shared and send each person the lines that were shared about them.
Pssst. Here’s a great resource with all of the song lyrics from the show to help you with some of these activities.
Keeping it Safe
- Video chat/FaceTime while watching (Be sure to press “play” at the same time! Also just a note, I haven’t personally had much success with this approach, because of the duplication of the sound from the film, coming in from everyone on the call.)
- Group text chat while watching
- Outdoor viewing party to keep social distance
- Watch at the same time, then have a group call or video chat to talk about it afterward
- Have everyone make a few fun food items they’ll be enjoying at their own homes; everyone can share pics of what they’re eating
- Physically in person with people who don’t reside in your home? Be sure not to share serving utensils. Have food pre-set in small, individual serving-size dishes or cups. Have plenty of hand sanitizer on hand, and be sure to remind people to keep 6 feet apart and wear masks except when eating.
I hope these ideas sparked some party excitement for you as you plan your Hamilton party. I know I’m super excited to see it on Disney+ on July 3rd with my family! And I have at least one friend who will be watching it (for the very first time!) at the same we do, so we can chat all about it afterward. I can’t wait!
What other fun ideas do you have for a Hamilton party? I’d love to hear about them!