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A Must See

Behind the Scenes of Hamilton on 60 Minutes

Hamilton has me absolutely HELPLESS. However, there is something to cure the fact that you probably won’t get to see Hamilton until 2016 like the rest of us, or if you’re rich enough to buy the resale, maybe next week. 60 minutes correspondent Charlie Rose recently sat down with the genius behind Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the brilliant cast including Renee Elise Goldsberry, Philipa Soo, Chris Jackson, Daveed Diggs and Leslie Odom Jr. for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the hottest musical to hit the Broadway stage.

If you didn’t catch the special last Sunday on CBS, fret not. The whole episode is featured on the website here, including clips that didn’t make it into the actual show, such as a tour of the set and the making of the cast recording. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • 60 Minutes filmed the entire cast recording, Lin-Manuel was doing re-writes on the spot and Leslie Odom Jr. was the standout amongst his peers singing every song full-out as if he were actual on the Public Theater stage.
  • Leslie Odom Jr. and other cast members, most of whom are Black or Latino, tell Rose why they’re so passionate about the project. Miranda has “made these dead white guys make sense to a bunch of, you know, Black and brown people,” Odom, Jr. says. “He’s made them make sense in the context of our time, with our music.”
  • Miranda worked on the show for SIX YEARS, as it originally was supposed to be a mixtape.
  • It took him a year to completely write “My Shot.” His reasoning: “because every couplet needed to be the best couplet I ever wrote. That’s how seriously I was taking it.”
  • When it came to deciding that Hamilton would be a Hip Hop musical, Lin-Manuel agreed it was the only genre that could match the actual writings of Alexander Hamilton because  “it has more words per measure than any other musical genre. It has rhythm and it has density. And if Hamilton had anything in his writings, it was this density.”
  • When he was asked to come to the White House to perform something from In The Heights, Lin-Manuel took a risk and sang “Alexander Hamilton” instead for the first time in front of the First Family. While people in the room originally were laughing at the concept of a Hip Hop Hamilton, by the end they were “completely sucked into the story.”

Special productions like this are dangerous and exciting at the same time. Dangerous because now I am willing to give away organs to see this show again. Exciting because Hamilton has done something amazing for Broadway that gets to be shared with the world. The musical has already succeeded expectations financially, it’s offering amazing opportunities for low-income youth to be able to take part, it blends two seemingly different music genres together seamlessly, it makes history fun and engaging, and its cast is richly diverse and talented. I don’t think Hamilton can go anywhere but up. If you haven’t seen or haven’t planned to put “See Hamilton” on your bucket list, I highly recommend you do so.

Also watch the bonus footage below on CBS website for 60 Minutes HERE



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