Hamilton’s America Debuts on PBS Tonight

News   Hamilton’s America Debuts on PBS Tonight
The film explores the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda musical Hamilton.
President Barack Obama and Lin-Manuel Miranda in the West Wing of the White House, March 2016. The White House

Hamilton's America, the documentary film that brings history to life through the lens of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway phenomenon Hamilton, debuts on THIRTEEN's Great Performances October 21 at 9 PM ET on PBS as the season premiere of the PBS Arts Fall Festival.

The Great Performances Facebook page (facebook.com/greatperformances) will live-stream Hamilton's America through Facebook Live at the time of the broadcast. This is the first time the long-running series has live-streamed one of its productions.

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.

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:

“Alexander Hamilton”
“My Shot”
“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”

Winner of 11 Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Hamilton continues at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

Check out photos from the film's premiere:

(Updated October 21, 2016)

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