Some of Hollywood and Broadway’s biggest stars turned out Thursday night for the opening gala celebration of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s critically acclaimed new musical “Hamilton.”
The event at Pier 60 in Chelsea included a bright, 12-minute fireworks display at Hudson River Park and a surprise performance from the Grammy-winning group and "Tonight Show" house band The Roots.
Among the many stars in attendance cheering on the “Hamilton” cast Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal, Lucy Liu, Peter Dinklage, Mariska Hargitay and Yvette Nicole Brown (NBC's “Community”).
“I feel relieved,” Miranda told NBC 4 New York at the party. “It’s pencils up. The show is done, I don’t have to change a single word, and I’m thrilled to be on this side of it. I’m 100 pounds lighter.”
The Roots performed an hour-long set of some of their best hits, including “The Seed.” Miranda joined them on stage for a bit of freestyling, mixing the show’s line “I am not throwing away my shot” with The Roots’ beat.
It won’t be the last time they collaborate either. Questlove and fellow Roots member Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter will produce a two-disc “Hamilton” original cast recording -- set for a Sept. 25 release on Atlantic Records.
“It’s a night for all of us,” “Hamilton” star Phillipa Soo said.” “Not just the cast, not just our show, but for the American theater. I hope that more beautiful art becomes created from it. I hope it perpetuates itself and brings forth many different minds that are just like Lin-Manuel’s.”
Celebrity DJs AndrewAndrew kept the dance floor going until 2 a.m., where the cast and crew grooved alongside producers, friends and celebrity talent.
Many members of the cast of “Orange Is the New Black” were there, including Lea DeLaria, Laverne Cox, Samira Wiley, Selenis Leyva and Danielle Brooks -- herself getting ready to make her Broadway debut in the revival of “The Color Purple.”
“I am so excited,” Brooks said. “Sitting in the audience tonight, I couldn’t help but envision myself up there. I can’t wait.”
Tony winner Alex Sharp (“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”) was also among the celebrity crowd. He told NBC New York he’s been keeping his award in his bedroom. “What, am I supposed to?” he asked. “Display it?”
Meanwhile, Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart (“Aladdin”), a longtime friend of Miranda and many of the “Hamilton” cast, praised its scribe for his lyrical genius:
“Everybody says they can rap, but most people aren’t great lyricists,” Iglehart explained to NBC 4 New York. “And to be a lyrical mic master like Lin-Manuel is, it takes a whole different working of your mind. Most people use rap to brag about themselves. But Lin’s able to put rhymes together and syllables together to tell a great story. Not many people can do that.”
As for Miranda, he said he credits the show for not letting himself get carried away with the hype: “If I space out for a second in this show, I’m going to get hit by a chair. Or a dancer. Or a turntable. So the show demands your attention and your focus. And that’s great, because it keeps you humble, honest and grounded.”
For tickets and more information about "Hamilton," visit HamiltonBroadway.com.