Watch the Schuyler Sisters of ‘Hamilton’ Sing Billy Joel’s ‘The Longest Time’
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Last night (July 9), marked the final performance for several members of the cast of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. Prior to the show, the three women who play the Schuyler Sisters — Philippa Soo, Renee Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones — recorded themselves singing Billy Joel‘s 1983 hit “The Longest Time” in Soo’s dressing room, which is embedded above.
As Joel did on the record, the women sing the song a cappella, with Goldsberry, a Tony Award winner for her portrayal of Angelica Schuyler, and Cephas Jones, who plays both Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds, trading verses. The Tony-nominated Soo, who starred as Eliza Schuyler — the wife of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton — until last night, takes over the lead in the bridge.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, who created the show and originated the titular role, has said that hearing the three women harmonize backstage in the show’s early stages led him to write “The Schuyler Sisters,” the R&B girl-group-laced number that introduces them in the first act. Miranda also gave his final performance last night.
The winner of 11 Tonys including Best Musical, Hamilton has earned acclaim for its imaginative use of hip-hop in telling the story of the birth of the United States, and the videos of the cast backstage and at the weekly “#Ham4Ham” ticket lottery have helped it become a pop culture phenomenon. Its Broadway run is sold out through May 2017 while its Chicago production, which begins in September, is sold out through March 2017.
“The Longest Time” appeared on Joel’s 1983 album An Innocent Man, which was a pastiche of pre-Beatles rock and soul. Joel overdubbed himself to perform all of the vocals on the doo-wop tribute, which went to No. 14 when it was released as a single in the spring of 1984.
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