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Producer of ‘Hamilton: An American Musical’ behind new show on KSL TV

NEW YORK CITY – By now, most people have heard of the hit Broadway show, “Hamilton: An American Musical.” The stage production is making its way to Utah next month. The producer of Hamilton is taking on a new project, and it premieres Tuesday night on KSL TV. News Specialist, Ashley Kewish traveled to the set in New York City to find out what the new show “Rise” is all about.

KSL’s Ashley Kewish interviews Auli’i Cravalho of “Rise”

What do you get when you mix talented teens, inspiring storylines and a bit of drama? It’s the makings of another hit show. With this one, NBC is betting on America’s love and support for the arts.

Leading the cast is none other than former Disney Princess, Auli’i Cravalho. She provided the voice for the title character in the animated film, “Moana.” Her voice will sound familiar, but Cravalho is a bit of a newcomer to the TV scene.

“I’m incredibly nervous,” said Cravalho. “I am just so happy though. It’s all very exciting and scary at the same time.”

If you think the girl from Hawaii, working in New York City has no connection to Utah, think again.

“I’m actually taking some courses right now on my own from BYU,” Cravalho said. “I have a Utah connection right there.”

Provo pride and school work aside, her latest project is shot in Brooklyn but is based in a small town with a struggling economy, few jobs and not much hope. Everything begins to change when a high school musical theater teacher decides to try and shake things up and spread the importance of music along the way.

The set of the new NBC show, “Rise”

“It’s very vital to kids’ mental development because what the arts do is really help develop their critical thinking,” actress Rosie Perez said.

The TV veteran is thrilled to be taking on one of the lead roles shooting in her own hometown.

“I’m just tingly all over,” Perez said. “I’m having a very nice time and I’m very appreciative for this. Everything is just fitting together perfectly.”

The show’s writer, Jason Katims is best known as being the mastermind behind TV shows, “Parenthood” and “Friday Night Lights.” Katims said “Rise” is a TV drama our country needs right now.

KSL’s Ashley Kewish interviews Damon Gillespie of “Rise”

“You see the beauty of these people coming together and this community coming together,” Katims said. “In the end, it’s really all about community and you realize how powerful that is.”

Everyone involved is hoping a community of viewers come together to make it a hit.

You can watch “Rise” on KSL TV each Tuesday at 9 p.m.

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