Disney Plus’ decision to add Hamilton to their platform this weekend has already produced a lot of excited reactions, even if there has been some debate over censorship in the production. Being able to enjoy Lin-Manuel Miranda’s award-winning musical at home has certainly given people a boost during lockdown, especially on the July 4th weekend. However, some fans can’t get over Jonathan Groff’s spitting as King George III.
More specifically, during his numbers, Groff’s precise enunciation means that he’s, well, doing a lot of spitting. Given where we are at the moment with social distancing, it makes sense that people are reacting more unusually than they might have last year to Groff’s performance. Indeed, the response on Twitter has even been enough to get Miranda himself talking about it:
King George's spit drool is truly transgressive in 2020, mercy me #Hamilton
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) July 3, 2020
Other fans were similarly intrigued by just how much spit Groff seems to generate when performing:
jonathan groff in hamilton pic.twitter.com/vEG0L1LTSV
— Мла формат ᴮᴸᴹ (@SNIIXXX) July 3, 2020
— kelvin ⚡ (@plvtties) July 3, 2020
— Jose (@jose_guevara__) July 3, 2020
watched hamilton and let me tell you…i cannot explain the way watching jonathan groff spit all on himself when singing "and no don't change the subject" in you'll be back made me feel
— alison (@alicheneyy) July 5, 2020
— Romel Maranon (@ThatRomel) July 5, 2020
might watch hamilton in the shower to get the full experience of jonathan groff spitting on the front rows. what do you think @Lin_Manuel?
— finn (@finnn_s) July 5, 2020
Jonathan Groff’s spit in Hamilton pic.twitter.com/wM7lCcCTun
— cece nguyen (@meanlittleasian) July 5, 2020
Some people, however, have stepped in to explain just why Groff has an unusual amount of spit:
i’m seeing lots of people coming at jonathan groff for spitting a lot when he was singing.
he put water in his mouth before coming on stage in order to salivate more, thus portraying king george’s mental insanity, thanks for coming to my ted talk. #Hamilfilm pic.twitter.com/OnRGnvwYHr
— fran 🌻 (@fran_amura) July 3, 2020
It’s worth pointing out that viewers were also appreciative of Groff’s general talents, in a role as King George that arguably still ranks as the definitive performance in the musical’s history. Praise for Groff included the following:
Jonathan Groff is wildly underrated. The voice. The character. The RANGE. A multi-talented unproblematic icon. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/70fmRWUBKX
— Samantha Rachel ⭐ (@SamEisenberg32) July 4, 2020
— N🏹 (@_jesuiscalme_) July 4, 2020
Since appearing in Hamilton, Groff has played several strikingly different roles, including over two seasons of Netflix’s Mindhunter as investigator Holden Ford, and a reprisal of his part as Kristoff in Frozen II. As well as continuing to appear on stage, Groff is currently involved in The Matrix 4 as an as-yet-unnamed character, with the sequel expected to arrive in 2022.
Meanwhile, it’s a great time to check out Hamilton on Disney Plus, with the theatre recording doing well to capture the excitement of a live performance, ridiculous levels of words-per-minute and all. Given that live theatre likely won’t be returning for a long time, and even then with long waits or steep ticket prices to contend with for Hamilton, the Disney Plus version is the closest most people will get to seeing it performed.