With 2020 a dumpster fire of epic proportions, people are taking solace in little joys during the pandemic: long walks, a good meal, and the Hamilton film on Disney+.
According to show business trade publication, Variety, downloads of the Disney+ app rose by 74% during the weekend Hamilton premiered on the streaming service. The filmed version of the musical sensation that won 11 Tony awards in 2018 — including Best Musical — tells the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton.
If you liked Hamilton, you ought to meet Alejandro Jamónton.
The founding father of the Cuban sandwich is the brainchild of Eddie Mujica. The 34-year-old Hialeah native moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting and writing career but still has Miami firmly planted in his head.
When the coronavirus hit and work dried up, he started making TikTok videos, many of which tapped into his experiences growing up in Hialeah. "All of my family is still in Miami. My parents live in the same house in Hialeah that I grew up in," he tells New Times. I really enjoy tapping into my Cuban heritage when I make short films."
One day, the beginnings of a Hamilton parody came to him. "Hamilton already has the word "ham" in it, so I thought jamón was a natural fit," he says of the brainstorm.
Given that Alexander Hamilton was born in Nevis, Mujica had no trouble imagining an alternative Caribbean island: Cuba.
"Hamilton is the story of an immigrant that came to America and became one of the Founding Fathers. I thought it was funny for him to be the creator of the Cuban sandwich."
The actor/writer began working on the "Jamónton" song a few years back but never really did anything with it. When he saw that the film version of Hamilton was coming to Disney+, he pulled it out and finished the video in three days.
"On Monday, I recorded the audio on GarageBand. The next day I gathered what I could for costumes and filmed the video portion. I spent the next day editing it all together," he says.
The resulting video is a pitch-perfect sendup of the opening song in both the show and the film.
Since its release on July 3 (timed to coincide with the film's release), almost 20,000 people have seen "Jamónton" on YouTube and thousands more have viewed it on the Facebook page of the parody site The Plantain.
Has Lin-Manuel Miranda watched the tasty parody of his Broadway sensation?
"If he's seen it, I don't know. When I posted it on Twitter, I tagged him but I haven't gotten any response," Mujica says.
That hasn't stopped him from dreaming of a follow-up exploring whose Cuban sandwich reigns supreme: Jamónton of Miami, or the creator of the Tampa version — Aaron Burr.
Says Mujica: "I picture a rap battle between the Miami and Tampa sandwich creators."
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.