Variety raised a glass to “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda Saturday night in celebration of the world premiere of “Hamilton’s America,” director Alex Horwitz’s new documentary about Miranda and the creation of his Broadway smash.
After a talkback with a New York Film Festival audience packed with eager young “Hamilfans,” Miranda, Horwitz and “Hamilton” Tony winner Renee Elise Goldsberry (pictured above with Miranda) all retired to an upstairs party space at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall to fete the premiere and Variety‘s Gotham Issue, which features Miranda on the cover. Also in the room were Miranda’s family — parents Luis A. Miranda Jr. and Luz Towns-Miranda, and wife Vanessa Nadal — as well as CNN anchor Don Lemon, BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith, ABC News executive consultant Hilary Estey McLoughlin, Bleecker Street’s Andrew Karpen, UTA agent Mark Subias, CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter, NY1’s Jamie Stelter and PMC vice chairman Gerry Byrne, among many others.
Claudia Eller, Variety’s co-editor in chief, put Miranda on the spot when she called him up before the crowd to ask how one person alone could create a zeitgeist-shaking work like “Hamilton.” “One person doesn’t do it alone,” he responded. “You don’t go into theater because want to have a one-man band.”
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|Variety co-editor-in-chief Claudia Eller presents Lin-Manuel Miranda with a framed copy of his Variety cover. Andrew H. Walker/Variety/REX/Shutterstock
After giving shout-outs to “Hamilton” director Thomas Kail, musical director Alex Lacamoire and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler — who all helped him “line by line, note by note, for seven years until it was done” — he turned the spotlight on Nadal, whom he called “the most brilliant dramaturg that I know. Because she doesn’t like musicals. So if I play her a song, it has to be so good that someone who doesn’t like musicals likes it. If she likes it, then I know it’s good enough for you to see.”
And then Miranda waded back into the party to meet Variety’s chief film critic Owen Gleiberman, who was also there. “Owen Gleiberman is here!” Miranda said at the mic. “I’ve been reading his reviews since I was 12!”
“Hamilton’s America” will screen Oct. 2, 15 and 16 as part of Film Society of Lincoln Center’s NYFF, before it airs on PBS Great Performances Oct. 21.
|Lin-Manuel Miranda, Renee Elise Goldsberry, and Don Lemon at Saturday night’s event. Andrew H. Walker/Variety/REX/Shutterstock