By Lin-Manuel Miranda
October 21, 2019 at 03:10 PM EDT
Eric Ray Davidson for EW

For EW’s inaugural My Must List — in which an artist we love shares some of the things they love — we asked Lin-Manuel Miranda for some recommendations. 

Cabaret

It’s a master class in how to translate the essence of something from stage to screen without literally translating it. The show is really different from the movie, but no one’s mad at that movie, because it’s brilliant, and that’s the toughest act to follow. We’re going for it with In the Heights. I’m going for it with tick, tick…BOOM! I have a lot of projects, so Cabaret is a big source material for inspiration.

Ballantine Books

Here for It

R. Eric Thomas, a Baltimore-bred writer and playwright, is one of my favorite writers. I look forward to his columns every day. His first memoir, Here for It [out Feb. 18, 2020], is like if David Sedaris was completely steeped in pop culture instead of living somewhere far away writing about it. It’s like pop culture-obsessed, Sedaris-level laugh-out-loud funny.

Russ Martin/FX

What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

I just binged. It is so genius. The history of incredibly brilliant movies to TV spin-offs is alarmingly poor. They don’t usually stick the landing, but I think it’s because it’s [director Taika Waititi] and the original team, it’s just a brilliant expansion of the conceit of the movie.

Judee Sill

The podcast Wonderful!, by my friend Griffin McElroy, turned me on to this songwriter from the early ’70s. She doesn’t have a lot — it’s, like, two albums and a posthumous album, just like [rapper] Big Pun — but I’m devouring it because it’s like this Southern Joni Mitchell voice that I’ve never heard. It’s gorgeous.

Joan Marcus

Octet

This Off Broadway show by Dave Malloy, the composer of Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, was the last thing I saw that really knocked my socks off. It’s a completely a cappella musical about internet addiction. My wife, who is a tough audience when it comes to musicals, it was her favorite thing she saw all year.

Fotos International/Getty Images

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

Can I make a request from the universe? I’ve watched my children fall in love with Mister Rogers, but I can only find it on demand once a week. It’s crazy. They fell in love with it via Daniel Tiger. When they watch, they feel like they’re watching Daniel origin stories. But I’d like more, please, because it makes my kids very calm and kind.

—As told to Sarah Rodman

For more on the best of pop culture this fall, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly at Barnes & Noble Friday, or buy it here now. (The November issue will be available on newsstands starting Oct. 23.) Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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