There have been so many announcements for Hamilton lately it’s hard to keep up! Here’s your rundown of all Hamilton related news!
An official air date has been give to the PBS Great Performances documentary of the musical! Another cast member announced his departure, and more details about the mix tape arrived directly from Lin-Manuel Miranda, along with who will be in the filming of Hamilton.
A few days ago, Lin-Manuel Miranda announced his departure from the show, but last Friday, he announced that the 90-minute documentary from PBS would air on October 17th, 2016 and will be titled, Hamilton’s America.
According to the PBS press release from January:
The documentary combines interviews with experts and prominent personalities, new footage of the production in New York, and cast-led expeditions to DC, Philadelphia and New York. Audiences will sit with Miranda as he composes songs in Aaron Burr’s Manhattan bedroom. They’ll take a trip to Virginia with Chris Jackson – the African-American actor who portrays George Washington – and watch him place a wreath on Washington’s grave, as he discusses the difficulty of grappling with our founders’ legacy of slavery. Back in New York, Miranda and Leslie Odom, Jr. – who plays Aaron Burr – visit the Museum of American Finance to get their hands on some 19th-century dueling pistols and stage a quick re-enactment.” [SOURCE: PBS Great Performances]
In the PBS press release, Miranda spoke about the documentary and how excited he and the rest of the team are for it! So are we, Lin, so are we!
“On behalf of the entire Hamilton cast and creative team, many of whom are In The Heights alumni, we are overjoyed to be returning to PBS in partnership with RadicalMedia with this project,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator, writer and star of Hamilton. “We invited filmmaker Alex Horwitz into ‘the room where it happened’ a few years ago, and he’s captured parts of this journey no one has seen. We can’t wait to share it, thanks to PBS.”
Lin also said that it’s so much more than a journey to Broadway, and that it will feature many sit-down interviews from many different people.
“Alex Horwitz, who is directing the doc, is one of my best friends from college in addition to being a very talented filmmaker. He just started filming me when I was writing it very early [on]. He’s got footage of me writing ‘My Shot’ in the Morris-Jumel Mansion, working out Burr’s ‘Gentleman, lower your voices…’ He’s got this insane footage because he was like, ‘Can I throw a camera on you since you’re writing this thing?’ And, he’s gone on to get interviews with—my God—George W. Bush, the Obamas, Jimmy Fallon, Questlove.”
In addition, Miranda said that he also did sit-down interviews for the documentary, which is titled Hamilton’s America.[SOURCE: Playbill]
I don’t know about you guys, but this is the best news! We know they’ll be filming the entire musical to be shared with the public eventually, but this documentary offers a serious look into what it takes to bring this musical to life. It will give us a more round view of the cast and their process for creating their characters for the stage, and how they used hip-hop to breath life into a story that it far more than words on a page about a long dead founding father.
Both this documentary and the filmed version of the musical will be done by RadicalMedia.
Hamilton has broken down so many barriers because we connect with it so intensely. Mr. Miranda told it in a way that made us listen, and that takes amazing talent.
Which brings us to other Hamilton news!
The mixtape. You know the one. It’s been whispered about for a long time, and it will be released in November! Lin took to Periscope June 21, and answered fan questions. He even played about 15 seconds of “My Shot” from the mixtape! You can check out the entire Periscope HERE!
The mixtape will feature many different artists doing covers of Hamilton songs and even ones that were cut from the show. You know the third rap battle about slavery? YEAH, that’s going to be on this mixtape!
Miranda said in the press conference:
“In addition to [covers],” he explained, there will be multiple demos of songs that didn’t make the final cut. “So I’m going to put that cut slavery rap battle that was in the book… We’re putting my demo of that on [the album]. I have a song called ‘Valley Forge’ that I cut that we actually performed in the Lincoln Center concert. I sort of took the best lines from it and put it in ‘Stay Alive,’ but the ‘Valley Forge’ demo will be on the recording. There’s a number of other demos… ‘Congratulations’ was a song that Angelica had. I think we’re putting that on the Mixtape. So there’s going to be like six or seven of the cut tunes on that as interludes between these amazing artists. A lot of my favorite rap albums have skits, so those are our skits, like me singing hoarsely at four in the morning with these tunes.” [Source: Playbill]
No details were released about who will be contributing, but Lin did say that the cover of ‘Satisfied’ is going to blow our minds!
To learn more about the documentary, you can visit Great Performances Online.
Next, we dive into cast news!
Leslie Odom Jr., who plays the charismatic Aaron Burr, will be leaving the musical on July 9th. He won this year’s Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of the opportunistic, hard-working Burr. July 9th will also be the final day for cast members, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo.
In a heartfelt Facebook video, he made the announcement to his fans and answered other questions regarding his Tony win, and if he will be involved in the filming of Hamilton before some of the original cast departs.
Take a look at the video below. Leslie Odom, Jr. could be one of the most sincere people on the planet.
In other cast news, Jonathan Groff, aka Groffsauce, will be reprising his role as the hilarious and brutal King George III for the filming of Hamilton!