"Hamilton's America" airs on PBS October 2016 (Joan Marcus, courtesy Sam Rudy PR)
A year after Hamilton's Broadway opening, people are still buzzing about the show and its famed creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Adding to the excitement, this month PBS will air Hamilton's America, a behind-the-scenes documentary featuring the show's entire journey—from inception to Broadway debut, and everything in between. It'll be a wonderful all-things-Hamilton extravaganza, but here's what you should be most excited about. —Kelly Munzenberger
1. Behind the Scenes from the Very Beginning
Filming began in 2013 two full years before Hamilton hit the Great White Way and wrapped one year into the musical's Broadway run.
2. Historic Inspiration
The documentary will show the Hamilton cast visiting historical sites that were important to the real-life Hamilton and other Founding Fathers to better connect with the life and history of their stage characters.
3. Exclusive Performance Footage
The doc will include some never-before-seen-on-film footage of the actual show.
4. Fun Facts
You'll be set for trivia after watching—Hamilton's America will include some insight about Alexander Hamilton that isn't widely known, or told in the musical.
5. Footage of Lin-Manuel Miranda at Work
Miranda's longtime friend, Alex Horwitz, was the director of the documentary, which means he got an inside look at the play's development and captured footage of Miranda's creative process (like him writing original songs for the show).
6. Close-ups with the Creatives
In addition to an intimate look at Miranda's process, the film will follow members of the whole creative team working to bring the mega-hit to life.
7. Star-studded Interviews
It's no secret that major A-listers are serious Hamilton fans. The doc will have interviews with President Obama, former President George W. Bush, Questlove and Black Thought, of The Roots and Jimmy Fallon.
8. Input from Legendary Hip-Hop Artist Nas
The film will show Miranda interviewing esteemed rapper Nas to discuss how writing lyrics for hip hop and writing lyrics for theater can intersect.
9. New Original Music
Bill Sherman and Questlove (both of whom were producers of the Hamilton cast album) contributed some original music to the documentary.
10. #Throwback Vibes
RadicalMedia, the producers of the documentary, also worked with Miranda on his 2009 PBS documentary In The Heights—Chasing Broadway Dreams, which chronicled the underdog journey of Miranda's first Tony-winning musical, In the Heights.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.