Lin-Manuel Miranda is Getting His Pre-Fame Crew, Freestyle Love Supreme, Back Together
As if Lin-Manuel Miranda didn't have enough going on, the author/playwright/singer/actor is also getting the old band back together. The Hamilton creator told The New York Times on Monday (Oct. 29) that he and his close group of post-college pals in the improv hip-hop crew Freestyle Love Supreme will be hitting stages again beginning on January 30 at the Off-Broadway Greenwich House Theater in New York, where the 80-minute show will run through March 2.
“It is as addictive as Twitter once you realize you can get in front of an audience and make up a hip-hop show in real time,” Miranda told the paper about performing with the crew that he rocked with before he became a global superstar thanks to In The Heights and Hamilton. “I am going to jump in for as much as my life allows. But the show will not be dependent on me being there.” For now, Miranda said he'll produce the shows and occasionally hit the stage, but won't be a regular cast member of the group that first began performing in 2004.
“Freestyle Love Supreme probably has shaped my writing more than any other creative endeavor I’ve been a part of, because it’s writing in real time in front of an audience with nothing but your brain and your friends,” Miranda said.
The regular cast will include Andrew Bancroft, Arthur Lewis, Bill Sherman, Chris Sullivan, Anthony Veneziale and Utkarsh Ambudkar, with producers hoping that alumni including Hamilton vets Christopher Jackson, James Monroe Iglehart and Daveed Diggs might drop in. The group, whose name was inspired by the John Coltrane jazz suite "A Love Supreme," performs a mix of spoken word and hip-hop songs -- some based on audience suggestions -- with keyboard and drum machine backing.
“There’s something exhilarating about sharing this with fans who haven’t seen it in a minute,” one of the show's other producers, Thomas Kail said. "As well as an entirely new audience.”
Check out footage of Freestyle Love Supreme below.