Production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton,” detail of a photo by Joan Marcus.
By PAM HARBAUGH
Most of you culture vultures out there love taking trips to New York City to hit as many Broadway shows as possible. That’s a good thing. But why not extend your stay and widen your focus to consider the place that gives birth to so much of that crazy mad talent. I’m talking the Off-Broadway, non-profit The Public Theater, or “The Public,” which it’s affectionately called.Its next Broadway baby will be “Hamilton,” the Lin-Manuel Miranda hip-hop history lesson about Alexander Hamilton and inspired by Ron Chernow’s book. The sold-out production at The Public, which was choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler and directed by Thomas Kail, has received numerous awards, including the recent Obie “Best New American Theatre Work.” “Hamilton” transfers to Broadway this summer to the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Previews begin July 13. It opens Aug. 6. Here’s a video of uber talented Mr. Miranda doing a little rap about Hamilton at the 2009 White House Poetry Jam. And, yes, you’ve heard that name before. He wrote and starred in the Broadway show “In the Heights.”
Just listen to this (then read on below the video) !!!
That’s not all…The Public was founded by the late Joseph Papp. It has five venues and the cabaret called “Joe’s Pub,” has given the world the free Shakespeare in the Park institution which attracts big names to perform, including Al Pacino in “The Merchant of Venice,” and Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline in “Mother Courage and Her Children.”
The Public’s birthing history includes “Hair,” “A Chorus Line,” “Sticks and Bones,” “That Championship Season,” “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf,” “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk” and “The Normal Heart” among others.
So, yeah, consider The Public on your next trip to NYC. It’s at 425 Lafayette St., New York City. Get a schedule of upcoming shows by clicking here. Call the box office at 212-967-7555 or, for general information, call 212-539-8500 or visit www.PublicTheater.org.