An impromptu decision back in September and a very low bank balance later, I was thrilled to see, what is rightfully described as “the best musical of the 21st century” at the show’s Broadway home. Hamilton created an earthquake in the theatre industry when the show opened at the Public Theater in February 2015. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s score is infused with inspiration from a mix of lush Broadway scores as well as mainstream pop and rap & hip hop. It’s no wonder the show has formed a relationship between the musical theatre world and the pop charts and is hard to get a ticket to. With Thomas Kail’s direction and Andy Blankenblehur’s choreography, Hamilton is simply a masterpiece. Not that I was expecting anything less, but I feel very privileged to be able to see it.
In case you are new here or you’ve been living under a rock, Hamilton focuses on the life and career of the first treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton. I did a post well over a year ago discussing how brilliant the cast album is – which you can read here . My first job was a weekend job in a library that took me over an hour to and from home. Every Saturday, I would sit on my 55 minute train journey and listen to the Hamilton album, without fail. Even though I had my own version of the staging in my head, it did not even compare to the masterpiece I was watching.
I don’t want to spoil anything regarding staging because the show is transferring to London in November this year and is sold out until June 2018. One problem with listening to a cast album over and over again is watching other people’s interpretations of characters and expecting the same takes you’ve grown to love and I didn’t feel that at all with the current Broadway cast. I attended a Sunday matinee performance and all the performances blew me away. There were a few understudies on at the performance I attended and they all did a spectacular job.
Donald Webber Jr was an incredible Hamilton and kept the young, scrappy and hungriness constant throughout his performance from when we first meet Hamilton right until the end. Elizabeth Judd was a wonderful Eliza & Jevon McFerrin was heartbreaking in duo roles as Phillip Hamilton & John Laurens. I also have to mentioned longtime Broadway favourites the production has attracted. Mandy Gonzalez (original Nina in In The Heights) was particularly outstanding as Angelica Schuyler. Brian D’Arcy James (Shrek, Next to Normal, 13 Reasons Why, Smash) was hilarious as King George and James Monroe Inglehart (Aladdin, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) delivered a fantastic performance as Lafayette and brought the swagger in act 2 as Thomas Jefferson.
Hamilton is truly a spectacle and may the show have a long life on Broadway and in London when it arrives. You can bet I’ll be entering the ticket lottery every week.
And that’s a wrap on my London to NYC ’17 series. Hope you enjoyed!
Until next time,