On Tuesday evening, theatre lovers of Northeast Florida braved the first rains of Hurricane Matthew to gather at WJCT Studios downtown for an exclusive first look at the documentary film Hamilton’s America. We were proud to sponsor WJCT’s preview of the first hour of the documentary (which highlights the creation of the runaway Broadway hit Hamilton) ahead of it’s world premiere as part of PBS’s Great Performances series on October 21st. The gala event was hosted by Daniel N. Austin of PBS’s Hometown, and featured live performances by Austin and local performers Katie McCloskey and Juan Carlos Unzueta.
The soundstage at WJCT was decked out with a large buffet and comfortable seating, and the giant cyclorama wall became our movie screen for the night. The energy of the room was one of excitement, with several attendees sporting pieces of period costuming. After an early threat of a power outage, we found our way to our seats and Daniel kicked off the evening’s events.
Local theatre aficionados Isom Steve Philips and his wife Toni Philips were spotted amongst the crowd of Jackonville Arts movers and shakers, who showed up in full force for this sneak peek of Broadway’s hottest show.
A preview of the PBS Fall Arts Schedule accompanied the evening’s entertainment. A full schedule was provided to each attendee.
Daniel N. Austin, of PBS’s Hometown, our vivacious host for the evening.
Katie McCloskey kicked off the live performances with a Broadway caliber rendition of “There’s A Fine, Fine Line” from Avenue Q. She also returned later in the evening to further wow us with “Don’t Wanna Be Here” from Ordinary Days.
Juan Carlos Unzueta was up next, electrifying the room with “Corner Of The Sky” from Pippin.
Daniel then treated us to “Moving Too Fast” from the seminal The Last Five Years.
Lastly, Juan segued us into the documentary with a live performance of “Wait For It” from Hamilton.
Check out some of the star-studded audience below!
Local artist Roosevelt Watson III with his beautiful better half Shawana Brooks
Former Thrasher-Horne House Manager Cindy Harmon with ushers from her new digs at the Times-Union Center.
Juan Carlos Unzueta, Katie McCloskey, and Daniel N. Austin, our powerhouse talent of the evening.
Isom Steve Philips and Toni Philips
Amanda Marron with Elijah Southworth, Rikki Southworth, and Chip Southworth
The Southworth Clan
Anne White with Shelley Cain and friends