Hamilton producer reflects on his Oak Park roots while Broadway hit storms Detroit theaters
DETROIT (FOX 2) - Very few could envision turning a hidden story about America's founding fathers into a rap-infused Broadway hit.
But for those that can, they may have come from Oak Park, Michigan, the home of Jeffrey Seller.
"And when I come today and sit in the orchestra and watch my own show on stage, it's like the 13-year-old me sitting in the Fisher Theater going, 'Oh my God, this is amazing!'" Seller said. "Except it's even more amazing because I'm the producer of the show."
Seller is the producer of Hamilton, a Broadway show that's made its way to Detroit. Long before he was betting on the right theater-based horses however, he was being inspired in the metro area.
"All of those experiences gave me the fuel that got me to New York, and all I did was keep going with everything I was doing in Ann Arbor, everything I was doing in Oak Park," said Seller.
Now that he's older, carrying with him the experience that a career in theater production provides, he has some advice for the younger generation.
"What I tell kids is, get with your friends and make stuff," Seller said. "Go make a business. Go make a new potato chip. Go make a new soap product. Go make a new musical. But do it with your friends and you'll rise up together."
While Seller provided the financial push needed to fund the endeavor, the show's origin is baked into the biography of Alexander Hamilton - one of the brains behind the United States financial systems. When he went on vacation, Lin Manuel Miranda read the book. When he came home, he called up Seller.
"The fact that he reads this book and decides that Alexander Hamilton is just like a hip hop artist, is something only Lin Manuel could have dreamt up," Seller said, "and you know what my job was as producer? To say yes."
Seller dedicated one the performances in Detroit to a group called Life Leaders. You can learn more about it at www.fueledbylife.org