The mystery of the ‘Hamilton’ singalong that wasn’t
Was it all a hoax?
With the coronavirus shutdowns in full swing and most of the country stuck at home and miserable, a lot of people are finding themselves looking for inspiration whenever they can find it. And for many of those inclined towards musical theater, they’ve been getting that joy from Hamilton.
In addition to all sorts of social media posts of fans of the show singing its songs, and a release of a previously unreleased Hamilton-related song, the Hamilton YouTube channel released a parody of “The Room Where It Happens” called “The Zoom Where It Happens,” featuring some actors from the touring companies.
Then, an early episode of John Krasinski’s YouTube show, “Some Good News,” assembled the entire original cast of Hamilton to sing the musical’s opening number, via Zoom, to a nine-year-old girl whose tickets to the show had been cancelled due to the shutdowns.
Not long afterward, word got out that the original cast of Hamilton was planning to do the same sort of thing, only with the entire cast album, and that it would be taking place last Friday night, April 10. Broadway World reported on it April 7, including a link to a live stream window on the official Hamilton YouTube page, which lists the event as taking place at 5 p.m. Pacific time on the 10th.
So far, so good. But on the 8th, the official Twitter account of Hamilton tweeted that “We do not currently have any sing-alongs scheduled for #HamAtHome. When that changes, we will be the first to tell you!”
“I’m sorry to anyone who made plans around this, but it’s a rumor that didn’t originate with us and got traction on sites,” he said. “That being said, it’s a good idea…so we’ll figure out the best way to make it happen down the road.”
Sometime in the later part of the week, both the Broadway World story and the YouTube link were taken down, with the former redirecting to the site’s homepage and the latter showing an error message that the stream had been removed by the uploader.
The remaining mystery is how, exactly, this happened.
The Broadway World story does not have an available archived version in the Wayback Machine, but the YouTube link does, and it shows that there was indeed a link to the official Hamilton YouTube page, with the phrase “Join #Hamilton cast members for tonight’s #HamAtHome singalong of the entire Original Broadway Cast Album. Get those vocal chords warmed up – downbeat’s at 8 PM sharp.”
Was this all a hoax? A misunderstanding? Was it in the works but never confirmed, and someone jumped the gun? Did someone on Team Hamilton approve this without other members of the team going along with it? That’s unclear, but whatever happened, it wouldn’t be a shocker if the cast assembled for a singalong before the shutdowns are over.