Lin-Manuel Miranda is doing his part to give theater fans something to smile about amid the coronavirus outbreak that has shut down Broadway.
On Thursday night, the Hamilton creator and three-time Tony winner dropped an unreleased song from the hit musical for his 3 million Twitter followers.
Miranda’s surprise release came hours after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in a press conference that all Broadway shows will be going dark until April 12, over the growing coronavirus concerns.
“Wish I could send you peace of mind via this app. Alas,” Miranda wrote, addressing the shutdown and growing anxiety around the pandemic. “But I can send you music no one’s heard.”
He then linked to a Soundcloud listing of a song called “I Have This Friend.” The duet was written for the characters of Alexander Hamilton and George Washington, played by Mirada and actor Christopher Jackson in the musical’s original cast.
It was cut long before the show’s premiere, Miranda said, and replaced by “The Reynolds Pamphlet.” Miranda stressed it hadn’t been heard by anyone, not even director Thomas Kail.
“Funnier if you picture me and [Jackson] singing it,” Miranda said.
“Stay safe out there,” he wrote on Soundcloud. “Love you.”
RELATED: Broadway Cancels All Performances Until April 13 Due to Coronavirus Concerns
Hamilton is one of the Great White Way’s hottest tickets, playing to sold out crowds at the Richard Rodgers Theatre since it premiered in August 2015.
It shut down on Thursday alongside more than 40 other shows. The Los Angeles staging of Hamilton at the Pantages Theatre has also been postponed over growing concerns.
Governor Cuomo said that no gatherings of more than 500 people will be allowed in New York City, excepting schools, hospitals, mass transit, and nursing homes. The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE that Broadway will reopen the week of April 13.
This will be the longest time Broadway has been dark since the stagehand union strike of 2007, when theaters were closed for 19 days. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Broadway reopened a mere two days later.
“Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatregoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals,” Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League said in a statement. “Broadway has the power to inspire, enrich and entertain, and together we are committed to making that vital spirit a reality. Once our stages are lit again, we will welcome fans back with open arms so that they can continue to experience the joy, heart, and goodwill that our shows so passionately express every night.”
Meanwhile, should all go as planned, fans everywhere will have a chance to watch Miranda in the title role in Hamilton.
Last month, Disney announced they would be releasing a filmed version of the hit Broadway musical in the United States and Canada on Oct. 15, 2021.
The house of Mouse reached an agreement for worldwide distribution rights of the property, which was filmed with the entire original Broadway cast — including Jackson, Daveed Diggs (Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson), Renée Elise Goldsberry (Angelica Schuyler), Leslie Odom, Jr. (Aaron Burr), and Jonathan Groff (King George) — before Miranda departed the production in July 2016.
“I fell in love with musical storytelling growing up with the legendary Howard Ashman-Alan Menken Disney collaborations – The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin,” said Miranda in a press release.
“I’m so proud of what Tommy Kail has been able to capture in this filmed version of Hamilton – a live theatrical experience that feels just as immediate in your local movie theater,” he added. “We’re excited to partner with Disney to bring the original Broadway company of Hamilton to the largest audience possible.”
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