Back in March, the cast of Hamilton traveled down to Washington to spend a day at the White House that included a workshop with local students, recording a West Wing-inspired, walk-and-talk-filled Ham4Ham, and a performance introduced by President Barack Obama himself.
Two of those songs were live-streamed for fans everywhere to see — the opening number and “My Shot,” specifically — but there were other performances that you had to be in the Room Where It Happened to see, including one that had those watching in tears.
That moment, Hamilton star Daveed Diggs told EW, was seeing Christopher Jackson, who plays George Washington in the musical, singing in front of the famed portrait of Washington as the current president watched.
“Obama, Chris Jackson, George Washington. It was such a trip,” Diggs said earlier this month during the Tony nominees press day. “And he was singing ‘One Last Time’! He was singing to a final term president about the first final term president — about the decision to make that a thing. Really like, the most American thing we have about our process. The tears all over the building were so real.”
It was a sentiment echoed by costar Jonathan Groff, who is nominated alongside Diggs and Jackson for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical at next month’s Tony Awards.
“When they said my name I was like, ‘Ah!’ and then they said Chris Jackson’s name and then I burst into tears. Because Chris Jackson, I just love him,” Groff said. “And maybe the most amazing part of this entire experience was watching Chris Jackson sing ‘One Last Time’ at the White House, in front of the famous portrait of George Washington, in front of Obama. Like, that is the most — we were crying.”