Hamilton, the smash hit Broadway success from composer and star Lin Manuel-Miranda, premiered on Disney Plus on July 3rd. Since then, one question that’s been occupying fans since the show first hit the stage in 2015 resurfaced (spoiler alert) – why does Eliza gasp at the end?
Theories ranged from Eliza seeing the audience and realizing her efforts to tell her husband Alexander Hamilton’s story and her social campaigning weren’t in vain, to Eliza crossing into the afterlife and seeing her husband and son again.
Miranda said on Twitter that ‘The Gasp is The Gasp is The Gasp. I love all the interpretations’, while director Thomas Kail revealed that ‘The Gasp’ came to be after a conversation he had with Phillipa Soo (Eliza in the original production) about the ending. Kail added ‘there is an answer, but I don’t know that I’m really keen to share it, because I love the conversation’ – then said Soo is the only one who can explain what it means.
Now, Soo has shed some extra light on the question. Speaking yesterday (July 29th), Soo explained: ‘Night to night it was different but it was a mixture of Eliza seeing that legacy, the orphanage (which is still standing), her kids telling her story. It’s an exploration every day and you find new things every time’. She also said ‘we shot the film two weeks before my final show so a lot of what you’re seeing is not just that performance, but also that year and moment in time – the hope and potential that lived in that moment’, and, much like Kail and Miranda – ‘My curiosity is always, ‘what did you think?’ because that’s more important to me’.
The real answer seems to be whichever interpretation you prefer.
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