It’s been more than four years since Hamilton redefined the possibilities of what a Broadway musical could be. The hit show, which opened in July 2015 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, has gone on to become a worldwide phenomenon. It has become part of pop culture and a touchstone for fans — movies and TV shows have all made references to the musical.
The four members of the juggernaut musical’s creative team — creator, composer, and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, musical director Alex Lacamoire, and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler — were awarded collectively with a Kennedy Center honor last year for their “trailblazing creation of transformative work.” Since then, the team has found continued success in a wide range of projects. Here’s what they’ve been working on.
Freestyle Love Supreme
Miranda’s latest Broadway offering is the hip-hop improvisation show Freestyle Love Supreme, playing at the Booth Theatre through January 5, 2020. Think Whose Line Is It Anyway? but set to music. Each performance features surprise guests — which could be Miranda on some nights, if you’re especially lucky. The show relies on audience participation as well as creativity from the artists on stage for a unique and thrilling experience each night.
Miranda is just an O away from the prestigious EGOT, and that could come as soon as 2021 if the film version of In the Heights picks up Oscar nominations. (It’s slated to come out in theatres in November 2020.) Miranda spent the summer filming the adaptation of the Tony Award–winning musical in New York City’s Washington Heights with director John Chu (Crazy Rich Asians). He’ll also make a cameo in the movie, playing the Piragua Guy.
Miranda will make his directorial debut in this musical-turned-movie for Netflix. Tick, Tick … Boom! is the late composer Jonathan Larson’s (Rent) autobiographical story of a budding composer named Jon who questions his creative aspirations while living in New York City during the early 1990s. The Off-Broadway run, which premiered in 2001, starred Raúl Esparza as Jon. Andrew Garfield is the top choice to play Jon in the film, according to Variety. Dear Evan Hansen writer Steven Levenson is adapting the book.
Workday Events: 3 days His Dark Materials: 21 days Portrait of a Nation prize: 35 days In The Heights movie: 257 days Vivo: 409 days West Side Story: 432 days Rita Moreno: The Girl Who Decided to Go For It: ? Tick, Tick… Boom!: ? Moana 2: The Lost Island: ?
Thomas Kail actually created this show 15 years ago with Miranda, in the basement of the Drama Book Shop while rehearsing for In the Heights.
The Wrong Man
Kail directed this new Off-Broadway musical, playing at the Newman Mills Theater at The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, starring Joshua Henry (Carousel). The show, making its world premiere with a book and songs by Ross Golan, tells the story of the wrong man who meets the wrong woman in the wrong place at the wrong time. Duran, played by Henry, is accused of a murder he says he didn’t commit. So You Think You Can Dance’s Travis Wall choreographs. The lead single from The Wrong Man, “Stay Positive,” can be heard here.
Derren Brown: Secret
This isn’t a musical or a play, but rather more of a psychological illusion. Kail is one of the producers, along with J.J. Abrams (Star Wars) and Jeffrey Sellers (The Cher Show), of this mind-blowing production at the Cort Theatre. Like Freestyle Love Supreme,Derren Brown: Secret relies on audience participation throughout the show. One of the most astonishing moments involves star Brown reading people’s minds.
This past spring, Kail served as executive producer with Miranda on FX’s Fosse/Verdon and also directed many of the episodes. The series centered on the real-life partnership between legendary director and choreographer Bob Fosse (Sam Rockwell) and his third wife, Broadway star Gwen Verdon (Michelle Williams). Spanning five decades of their lives, Fosse/Verdon received 17 Primetime Emmy Award nominations.
The Wrong Man
Lacamoire is teaming up with Kail for another musical, serving as the musical supervisor and orchestrator of The Wrong Man. The show was initially conceived as a solo acoustic performance in which composer Ross Golan sings the story. The Wrong Man has evolved over the last decade into a full-length album, animated film, and now a musical.
Lacamoire won an Emmy Award for musical direction of the FX series.
The iconic 1982 Andrew Lloyd Webber “now and forever” Broadway musical hits the big screen December 20. Blankenbuehler serves as choreographer of the film, starring Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, and James Corden. Directed by Tom Hooper (Les Misérables), Cats is based on the poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot.
Blankenbueler was the choreographer for the first three episodes of Fosse/Verdon.
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