Lin-Manuel Miranda may no longer star in Hamilton, but the show will always be the cultural milestone which put him on the map. Even with rumored whispers of a showstopping turn in Mary Poppins Returns and some under the radar critics choice nominations for his role as Jack The Lamplighter, for some fans, he will always be the first Treasury Secretary of the United States. Miranda is still hyping Hamilton too. It’s still playing in New York, and has opened in many secondary markets. His latest move is sharing "One Last Ride Reprise" from Hamilton a song cut during the move from The Public Theater to Broadway.
Most fans are aware the show underwent some serious tweaking during the move from off-broadway to the Victoria Palace Theater, where it still plays today. What they might not realize is most of those changes were to the second act. The first act has remained largely the same since the show’s original premiere.
Some of the songs trimmed out of the second act wound up on The Hamilton Mixtape, which was released at the end of 2016. It included the "No John Trumbull" intro that originally opened the second act and the "Dear Theodosia (Reprise)" which revealed Burr’s wife has passed away.
But the most significant change to Act 2 was the morphing of "One Last Ride" to "One Last Time." Real talk: Anyone who has heard a bootleg version of "One Last Ride" will probably agree this is a smart move. Not that the first version was bad. It involves in the Whiskey Rebellion, a major event in Washington’s presidency. It gets more of Washington’s history into the show. But it’s also a whole lot of plot smooshed into five minutes of a song. Having the song focus on Washington retiring after two terms, and Hamilton writing his farewell speech is not only cleaner but keeps the emphasis on Hamilton as a character.
With cutting the main "One Last Ride" also came cutting the reprise of it. Like the cut "Dear Theodosia (Reprise)," this is a song revealing a character died offstage, in this case, Washington.
Here’s the SoundCloud:
One can see why Miranda loved this bit, but at the same time, it’s clear why it was cut. Washington’s farewell in "One Last Time" is enough. Audiences know this is his moment to exit, and without him, Hamilton will be a rudderless mess. Like the death of Burr’s wife Theodosia, it’s not really necessary to stop the action and tell everyone Washington is dead. It just makes the show drag when it needs to be hurtling towards the inevitable end.
Miranda himself says this is exactly why it had to go.
Miranda is about to break big all over again with Mary Poppins Returns next week. It’s great to see he’s still using his platform to talk about Hamilton and give his fans deep cuts from the show as a way of saying thank you.
Mary Poppins Returns lands in theaters nationwide on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018.
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