“Hamilton”, the captivating musical/opera with a book, music and lyrics by MacArthur Genius Award recipient Lin-Manuel Miranda, is a breathtaking historical ride back to our nation’s Revolutionary War roots. Miranda also stars in the title role of Alexander Hamilton.
|Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton|
“Hamilton” had been percolating in Miranda’s creative brain for more than six years before finally debuting off-Broadway and selling out performances at The Public Theatre earlier this year. Theatrical ventures – musicals in particular – have a gestation period far longer than elephants (two years for them), which most normal people would consider a long time before giving birth to anything. Not, however, in the world of theatre and Broadway.
What makes this musical so successful? For starters, I believe it’s a production where the critical mass of creativity meets an abundance of talent. The result of that marriage becomes a confluence; a coming together at just the right time in America where a savvy theatrical team produces a musical that appeals to the new emerging American theatre-going demographic. “Hamilton” is not your father’s remembrance of 20th century American musicals.
|Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr and the cast of Hamilton.|
All photos by Joan Marcus
Before the over-fifty set dismiss the phenomenon of “Hamilton” as not an entertaining style for a musical, one should see the new face of the American musical, and then make a decision as to its relevance in our changing society.
|Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton, |
Renee Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler
and Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler in Hamilton
|Daveed Diggs as Thomas Jefferson and the cast of Hamilton|
As my colleague Charles Giuliano mentions in his review of “Hamilton”, the two roles written by Miranda are of equal heft and importance, much like Shakespeare’s Othello and Iago pairing, adding that he wouldn’t be surprised to see both actors nominated for Tony Awards come this April 26th when award nominations are announced. I couldn’t agree more.
Gifted as those two lead actors are, however, this splendid production boasts many talented performers in this opera-like musical who sing and dance the story of “Hamilton” as there is no narrative text employed as a way of moving the story forward.
|Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette, Okieriete Onaodowan as |
Hercules Mulligan, Anthony Ramos as John Laurens
and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton
This splendid production is blessed with a committed and dedicated ensemble cast that crisply executes the remarkable choreography created by the fabulous Andy Blankenbuehler, and the equally gifted Music Director/Orchestrations/Co-Arranger Alex Lacamoire, and Lighting designer Howell Binkley, all of whom are returning creative team artists from “In the Heights”. Why break up a winning team when everyone is on a roll? Why, indeed.
David Korins’ spacious two-level scenic design gives the entire company plenty of space to perform their magic in the colorful and elegant Revolutionary period costumes designed by Paul Tazewell.
If you find yourself in New York City next year with some discretionary income in your pocket, I strongly suggest you catch a performance of “Hamilton” at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway. The good news is, you won’t be disappointed. The bad news is, the box office is only taking reservations for performances after October 2016. That’s what happens when a phenomenon arrives on Broadway.