Fans of the Broadway smash Hamilton will get to see the original cast perform parts of 18 songs from the show as part of the documentary film Hamilton’s America, scheduled for broadcast October 21 at 9 PM ET on PBS as part of THIRTEEN's Great Performances, and as the season premiere of the PBS Arts Fall Festival.
Filmmaker Alex Horwitz arranged to follow the creators and original cast of the then-obscure new musical from its early days at the Public Theater in New York... and wound up chronicling the birth of one of the great Broadway hits of the century so far.
According to production notes, the documentary combines interviews with experts and prominent personalities, footage of the production in New York, and cast-led expeditions to Washington, DC and Philadelphia. Audiences will sit with composer Lin-Manuel Miranda as he writes songs in Aaron Burr’s Manhattan bedroom.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film includes clips of some 18 of the show's songs, most of them filmed at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, where Hamilton is currently playing. Fans will get to hear original cast members perform excerpts from the following songs:
“The Schuyler Sisters”
“You'll Be Back”
“Right Hand Man”
“Guns and Ships”
“Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)”
“Wait for It”
“What’d I Miss” (White House performance)
“Cabinet Battle #1”
“The Room Where It Happens” (White House and Broadway performances)
“One Last Time” (White House performance)
“The Election of 1800”
“The World Was Wide Enough”
“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story”
Produced by Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning producers RadicalMedia and directed by Alex Horwitz, Hamilton's America, according to production notes, “delves even deeper into the creation of the show, revealing Miranda's process of absorbing and then adapting Hamilton's epic story into groundbreaking musical theater. Further fleshing out the story is newly shot footage of the New York production with its original cast, trips to historic locations, such as Mt. Vernon and Valley Forge with Miranda and other cast members, and a surprising range of interviews with prominent personalities, experts, politicians, and musicians including President Barack Obama, President George W. Bush. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Secretary Hank Paulson, Secretary Timothy Geithner, Questlove, Black Thought, Jimmy Fallon, John Weidman, Nas and Stephen Sondheim.”
Viewers will witness Miranda at the White House in 2009 performing an early version of what would become "Alexander Hamilton" as well as an inside view of Miranda as he composes songs in Aaron Burr's Manhattan bedroom. Viewers will also travel to Virginia with Christopher Jackson—who was Tony-nominated for his portrayal of George Washington in the musical—as he reveals his personal struggle preparing for the role, while grappling with our Founders' legacy of slavery. Back in New York, Miranda, who originated the role of Hamilton in the musical, and Leslie Odom, Jr., who won a Tony for his portrayal of Aaron Burr, visit the Museum of American Finance to get a deeper understanding of the historical figures they are depicting on stage.
Watch the trailer below:
A longer version of the trailer, which can be seen below, premiered at USA Today:
Winner of 11 Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Hamilton continues at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.