Independence Day weekend will perhaps be spent more indoors this year for a variety of reasons, as COVID-19 cases surging across the American south has seen some locales dialing back plans to ease lockdown restrictions and travel plans severely diminished compared to past celebrations. One positive for the holiday for many theater buffs was the release of Hamilton on Disney+, and now sports fans have a new detail to look for when they stream the Broadway musical this weekend.
According to a feature on MLB.com, there’s a subtle Derek Jeter reference in the show’s choreography. As Dan Cichalski wrote Friday, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler appeared on “The Hamilcast” podcast and explained that Jeter got a quiet nod in the show’s second act during a song called “It’s Quiet Uptown.”
“There’s … a Derek Jeter Easter egg in that number,” Blankenbuehler begins at about the 51:23 mark of the episode. “Because I love the Yankees and I love to watch baseball with my son. My son would always imitate, when Derek Jeter would take the plate, he would put his arm out in front of him … like he was pointing to the outfield. He would put this long arm out in front of him, like over the pitcher’s head.
The batting stance routine actually made its way into the show, something Blankenbuehler called a tribute to an “icon” meant to show power and respect.
“So when the men are singing to Hamilton, they all stand around him and they all put their hand out, like Derek Jeter. There’s something about the power that Derek Jeter had — of being an icon, of being a superhero, of being a gentleman — that, when the men look at Hamilton, [they’re] in a way remembering when he had power. So they’re doing that move, like putting their arms across the horizon … willing him to have the power he used to have. I like that moment.”
Considering how difficult it was to get a ticket to see the show on Broadway or at its other satellite performances, there’s a good number of folks who have yet to see the show actually performed and only know it from its soundtrack. For those that dive in for the first time or get a second chance to watch the original cast perform the show, there will be plenty to watch for including this small nod to another New York legend.