In the room where it happens with 'Hamilton' producer Jeffrey Seller
He is the winner of four Tony awards, a metro Detroit native and the producer of the musical "Hamilton." Jeffrey Seller is back home in D and talked with hosts Jason Carr and Tati Amare in studio. Seller was joined by Amy Nederlander, the co-founder of the teen empowerment and education program L!FE Leaders Inc. Thursday night, an inaugural gala will be held in Detroit to benefit L!FE and its initiatives. The gala includes a performance of "Hamilton."
"I went to the Fisher Theatre last night to see Hamilton," said Seller. "Being back in the Fisher Theatre, where I first attended a Civil War musical called 'Shenandoah' in 1978, felt so warm and embracing and then joyous to know that I was watching my show up on that stage."
The group talked about what makes the show so special and Seller said he thinks that "Hamilton" is "the embodiment of our best values as Americans." He said it shows that we are all part of the fabric of this country. Amare added that she thinks it's phenomenal from the very first second to the end of the show.
When asked about what happens behind the scenes, Seller talked about the army of people needed to put the show on every day. He said that extra space needed to be rented out in the Fisher building for storage space and for extra rehearsal space. "Though we do eight shows a week, and you may be going to that show at 8 o'clock tonight, that doesn't include the fact that there will be a four-hour rehearsal this afternoon where we're training actors who are swings or understudies so that they are prepared to go on," said Seller
Nederlander has a family history in the theater. Her grandfather, Davis Tobias Nederlander, founded his family theater business in Detroit in 1912 when he managed the Detroit Opera House. He and his sons helped establish Detroit as the most successful theater-town at the time in America.
Nederlander's L!FE Leaders Inc. is a leadership and career development organization that works with middle and high school students. The organization does what it can to build confidence in these emerging adults and establish strategic paths to reach their goals. As part of the group's inaugural gala it partnered with "Hamilton" and has gotten a block of tickets it is using to raise funds for students in Nederlander's program.
When asked about their favorite part of "Hamilton," Nederlander said, "When George Washington came out as an African-American and a man of color portraying these people who are the founding members of our country I was blown away with excitement because that is the fabric of our country." Seller looked at Amare and said, "I'm more interested in knowing your favorite part."
"Hamilton" is at the Fisher Theatre until April 21.