History has its eyes on Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical Hamilton, and so does PBS this Friday night. Hamilton fans are in for a treat, as PBS is set to air Hamilton's America, a documentary that features the creator and original star of the Broadway show, Lin-Manuel Miranda, along with footage from the massively popular musical drama. For those who don't have a television or a way to watch PBS, as long as you have access to Facebook and a decent wifi connection on Friday, you won't be out of luck, as Great Performances is set to stream the entire broadcast live on their Facebook page.
Set to air on PBS on Friday, October 21 at 9:00 p.m., Hamilton's America will also stream online through Facebook Live on the Great Performances Facebook page. Along with the live-stream on Facebook, the documentary will be made available on the PBS Anywhere app, as well as PBS' website. But if your plan is to watch it online, don't waste your shot, as PBS will only have the documentary available on those platforms for four weeks following the broadcast, after which it'll only be available to people who have Passport-enabled stations.
This is obviously excellent news for those with who don't watch their TV on an actual television. It's the first time the series has live-streamed one of its programs, and what better documentary to start with than one that showcases the massively entertaining and deservedly popular musical.
Directed by Alex Horwitz, Hamilton's America intercuts footage of a taped performance of the original cast of Hamilton with background information and stories from Lin-Manuel Miranda and others (cast members and special guests including Jimmy Fallon and George H.W. Bush). Hamilton's America delves into the history of the musical, as well as a little bit of the history of the man himself.
If you're a fan of the musical, or even just the soundtrack, Hamilton's America is a must-watch. Ok, those of us who haven't gotten to see Hamilton on Broadway will likely never be satisfied with bits and pieces of a taped production. But let's face it, even bits and pieces of Hamilton is still a great way to spend a Friday night. As mentioned, Hamilton's America offers us an eyeful of moments from the production, while also tapping into the history of the musical and the years Lin-Manuel Miranda put into telling Alexander Hamilton's story. That includes Lin-Manuel Miranda's 2009 White House performance, which led to him creating the full musical.
If I have one complaint about Hamilton's America, it's that, with its 90 minutes of run-time, it doesn't really have time to dig deep into the production or history, or really anything. While the documentary spreads itself out somewhat evenly across the subjects it addresses, I wouldn't have minded more behind-the-scenes footage and stories about the development of the musical. But saying that the documentary isn't long enough is barely a complaint. What it does deliver is well worth a look for those who love this show. And for those who are merely curious to know what all the fuss is about, Hamilton's America does a fine job of sampling the production.
Fair warning though, if you get choked up listening to the soundtrack, be prepared to experience some emotions watching Hamilton's America.
Check out the trailer for Hamilton's America below. And tune into PBS (or the Great Performances Facebook page) on Friday, October 21 to watch the full documentary.
PBS Image credit: Courtesy of Joan Marcus