What with the sudden and near-complete shuttering of the film, theater, sports, and live music industries in the span of roughly 24 hours—you know, business as usual here in COVID-land—we all suddenly have a bit of extra pop culture time on our hands. Kudos, then, to Lin-Manuel Miranda for injecting a little more life into our suddenly most-things-devoid lives, releasing a never-before-heard track from his Broadway smash hit Hamilton via Twitter this afternoon.
Now, it’s not hard to parse out why “I Have This Friend” was ultimately cut from the Tony-winning musical: Situated after Alexander Hamilton screws up his life both personally, and professionally, with his romantic infidelities, the song covers narrative ground that the actual stage production hits with far more power via the dramatic “Hurricane.” Still, it’s neat to hear, especially since it sheds a little more warmth on the relationship between Hamilton and father figure George Washington (both voiced by Miranda in this version) as the Treasury Secretary solicits advice he then brusquely refuses to take.
Hamilton itself, of course, has not been immune to the virus closures; in fact, the show was just gearing up for a debut at Los Angeles’ Pantages Theater this week. (It’s also now off Broadway, along with most of the rest of the New York theater community.) Still, though, it’s nice to have a little spark of new content floating into our lives—even if it does also serve as a reminder of why people are still clamoring for a version of the show they can watch in the safety of their own homes, at last.