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This girl’s reaction to Phillipa Soo in ‘Hamilton’ shows why representation matters

Jasmine Cephas Jones, Phillipa Soo and Renée Elise Goldsberry in "Hamilton."
Jasmine Cephas Jones, left, Phillipa Soo and Renée Elise Goldsberry in “Hamilton.”
(Disney+)

Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive at a time when theater-loving kids can see themselves in “Hamilton.”

Actress Phillipa Soo, who is Chinese American, recently shared a heartwarming video of a young Asian girl declaring, “It’s me!” while watching Soo perform as Eliza Schuyler in Disney+'s movie adaptation of the hit musical.

“Little Jenna here is exactly why #representationmatters,” Soo wrote on Sunday night, thanking publicist Britney Thai for sharing the sweet clip. “I am so grateful for this show, that so many young people can watch this show and say ‘It’s me.’”

The full video sees little Jenna sporting a pink unicorn shirt and watching intently as Soo sings “Helpless,” an upbeat love song from Act 1, through a laptop screen. When the camera zooms in on Soo, Jenna points directly at her and says, “Look, it’s me.” Upon being told, “That’s Eliza,” Soo’s mini-me firmly repeats, “It’s me!”

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Conversations about representation have long accompanied “Hamilton,” which predominantly stars actors who are Black and people of color. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the mastermind behind the show who played Soo’s onstage husband, also posted the video of Jenna with a breaking-heart emoji.

Thomas Kail’s film of ‘Hamilton’ is a solid, stirring visual record of the original Broadway production starring Lin-Manuel Miranda.

As of Monday afternoon, the viral video had amassed about 12,000 retweets, 87,000 likes and hundreds of comments from Twitter users discussing how “Hamilton’s” strides for representation in theater have impacted them personally.

For those interested in some extra “Hamilton” content, Miranda also tweeted a link Monday to “Weird Al” Yankovic’s latest “Hamilton Polka” parody, which dubs over sections of the Disney+ footage with Yankovic’s absurd, trademark nasally tone. A follow-up to his first “Hamilton Polka” medley from 2018, Yankovic released the silly video on July 4 “to celebrate” the “great national holiday” that is “Hamilton weekend.”

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