As previously reported, two-time Oscar-winner Spike Lee will film both shows on July 19 for a future movie. Distribution for the film, to be produced by Steven Klein -- one of the show's producers and an investment banker -- has yet to be secured, though all options, including cable television are being explored.
Lee will also film two non-public performances, the director said at a press conference on July 9. He will work with many members of his production company, 40 Acres, and cinematographer Matthew Labatique, who also shot Lee's newest film, Miracle at St. Anna, which will debut in September at the Toronto Film Festival.
"I think the greatest artists in the world are musicians, because their talents come directly from God," Lee said at the conference. "When I first saw the show at the Public, I was knocked out by its story, its acting, and its musicianship, and I am thrilled to be filming the actual play." Lee added that he would "try to do some things that hadn't been done before," but chose not to elaborate.
The show has a book by Stew, for which he won the Tony Award, music and lyrics by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, and was co-created and directed by Annie Dorsen. It was nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and was named Best Musical by the Drama Desk, Obie Awards, and New York Drama Critics Circle
The autobigraphical-inspired musical takes audiences on an international journey from L.A. to Amsterdam and Berlin as a young African-American man ("Youth") from California searches for his identity. In addition to Stew, the show stars de'Adre Aziza, Daniel Breaker, Eisa Davis, Colman Domingo, Chad Goodridge, and Rebecca Naomi Jones. The show's creative team includes Karole Armitage (movement coordination), David Korins (sets), Elizabeth Hope Clancy (costumes), and Kevin Adams (lighting).