PBS’ Upcoming ‘Hamilton’ Documentary, Gillian Jacobs, Jane Sanders, and More: This Week’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the Internet are doing, too. This week, we have commentary on Hillary Clinton’s DNC speech, news on a documentary about Hamilton, an interview with Gillian Jacobs, and more.

If you missed Hillary Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention last night, Mother Jones‘ David Corn gives an even handed rundown of the strategies and bullet points of a relatively safe speech, noting that it reached towards both the right and left to emphasize how detrimental Trump would be to either side, and that that’s really what this election boils down to:

Her overall theme was “stronger together.” And she is trying to build a non-Trump coalition that stretches from Sanders progressives to Reaganesque Republicans who fear Trump. She juxtaposed her desire for communal politics with Trump’s politics of the ego. It was an effective speech, and Clinton succeeded in illustrating the stark choice this presidential election presents… She is unlikely to become an inspirational candidate. She is unlikely to lower dramatically her approval ratings. She won’t become a progressive hero. She won’t become trusted by Republicans who have long eyed the Clintons with suspicion. She is, though, the only chance to stop Trump’s takeover of America—and her job is to persuade voters that for now she is indeed the last best hope.

On the subject Hillary Clinton’s speech, the Democratic Presidential nominee referenced Hamilton towards its conclusion last night. And though it may be a long time before many viewers of Clinton’s speech ever see the play in the flesh, people nationwide will get a closer glimpse of it in an upcoming Great Performances documentary called Hamilton’s America for PBS. Critics got a peek at it at the Television Critics’ Association press tour, and NPR reports on the event:

In a videotaped message, show creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda explained that [director Alex] Horwitz was a roommate of his who started following his process while he was still deciding exactly what form Hamilton would eventually take. Miranda also pointed out that he’s had a relationship with WNET’s Great Performances going back to his previous show In The Heights, and that his first job was at a WNET intern. It’s safe to say the station’s long relationship with him has turned into a good investment.

Still on the subject of Hamilton, the New York Times did an in-depth piece on the continued issue of scalpers exploiting the show’s popularity and making millions from it:

It’s difficult to get definitive sales information because scalping operates in the shadows. So to figure out just how much scalpers were making from “Hamilton” tickets, we created a database by collecting publicly available information on ticket prices on secondary market listings. We watched the ticket price history for each performance, for days and weeks and in some cases even for months…What we found was that scalpers took in more than $15.5 million from the 100 performances before Mr. Miranda’s final show. The 32 performances between the June 12 Tony awards — where “Hamilton” won 11 statues — and July 9 may have brought in more than $10.5 million for scalpers alone.

Rolling Stone ran an excellent interview with Jane Sanders following Bernie’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton, and his speech stressing the need to keep Trump out of the White House. Here, Jane Sanders addressed the necessity of stepping down for the Convention, while discussing how the message of the Sanders campaign can continue to impact mainstream politics:

[Bernie’s] feeling was that Donald Trump is too dangerous to not defeat. So his choice was to endorse — but, at the same time, fight like hell to keep the revolution alive, and keep alive the issues that we all stand behind. So we need [our supporters]. We need them engaged, and we need them to participate. And whatever they decide, it’s their conscience, and they should decide whatever they want. Our job is to defeat Donald Trump; our conscience says we can’t have that. … And we will hold [the Clinton campaign] accountable because we are endorsing her. We are that much more committed to making sure [she follows through on her promises], instead of saying, Oh, it’s politics as usual, people change. We’re not going to let that happen. Not without a big fight, if anything. If the Democratic Party starts backing away from the platform, ever, we will fight like crazy to support the work that all of these millions of people did.

Vulture has an interview with Gillian Jacobs, of Community, Love and Mike Birbiglia’s new film about an improv troupe, Don’t Think Twice. Interviewer Kevin Lincoln asks her about playing characters whose neuroses are quite central, asking if she thinks “more parts like that [are] being written.” She responds:

With the three-dimensionality that male characters always had? Yeah… and it’s great that Mike wrote a female part like that. Love certainly, yes, and Mimi-Rose on Girls. I’m trying to think of what I started my career playing. Very heavy dramas, humorless dramas. To me, you’re one of many young actors at the forefront of the post–Manic Pixie Dream Girl era. Yes, hopefully. I feel like thankfully that term and concept is so well-known at this point that people are shying away from writing them as much. I’m not seeing as many of those. It just doesn’t pass the smell test. Also, it’s like, being an actress is somewhat making choices and then somewhat just trying to do what you’re offered.