The national tour of the hit HAMILTON has triumphantly returned to the Eccles Theater. On the same day the tour opened in Salt Lake City (Dec. 28), the Broadway production of HAMILTON returned after nearly two weeks of darkness, and the LA production said performances will continue until March 23, due to COVID-related precautions. January from. Despite the uncertainty, the tour company “And Peggy” appears with passion and resilience and creates a special, undeniable experience.
HAMILTON (book, music and text by Lin-Manuel Miranda) is the eleven-time Tony-winning musical that has entered the zeitgeist of popular culture. It uses rap, hip-hop, R&B, pop, and musical theater conventions in whole new ways to tell the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. It records his rise to power and fall into disgrace, including his role in the American Revolution and his political and personal life.
Much has been said about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s work, and what greater testimony does it take than his widespread, enthusiastic fan base around the world. The dexterity and depth of the writing is exceptional.
The magnetic performer Julius Thomas III brings Alexander Hamilton an entertaining new perspective, his character development subtle but substantial.
In this precarious time for live theater, standbys / swings / understudies are more important than ever to ensure the show can go on. At the reviewed performance, Deaundre ‘Woods, Standby, Aaron Burr played with fervor and fervent resentment. He and Thomas were a wonderful couple who particularly highlighted the characters’ early adolescent zeal. The similarities and differences in the cast spurred audiences to explore Burr and Hamilton as two sides of the same coin. Your double interpretation of “Dear Theodosia” was a highlight.
Thomas also has a nice chemistry with Victoria Ann Scovens as Eliza. Scovens’ vocals are technically complicated and quietly powerful, and her “Helpless” and “Burn” become two of the most memorable numbers on the show with her at the helm.
Darnell Abraham’s George Washington is equally impressive with an authoritative presence, an undeniable singing voice, and mature dignity.
Other memorable appearances include Paris Nix as Marquis de Lafayette / Thomas Jefferson, Brandon Louis Armstrong as Hercules Mulligan / James Madison, Andy Tofa as John Laurens / Philip Hamilton, Swing Milika Cherée as Peggy Schuyler / Maria Reynolds, Rick Negron as King George, and Jacob Burns as Samuel Seabury and Ensemble.
The ensemble as a whole deserves special mention as its incredible dances and harmonies add significantly to almost every sequence. Tony Blankenbuehler’s unique choreography is magnetic and pulsating as it adapts to the different styles of the songs in a unique theatrical style while maintaining a strong hip-hop identity.
The production by Tony Award-winning director Thomas Kail is masterful. Like the show itself, it’s sweeping and with an eye for detail that keeps the action intriguing. In constant motion, its fluidity is the perfect companion to the versatility of David Korins’ strikingly designed and weathered brick and timber set, which comes with a well-used turntable and tells the story in both simple and complex terms.
The lighting by Tony-award-winning designer Howell Binkley compensates for the sparse décor of the set with its well-timed, bold, changing colors, and the costumes by Tony winner Paul Tazewell are elegantly reminiscent of the historic period while maintaining sleek, contemporary silhouettes. Nevin Steinberg’s sound design is not only artistically imaginative, but also incredibly crystal clear, which is particularly important so that such dense texts are understood and appreciated.
HAMILTON will be remembered in the annals of musical theater as a show that changed the career of the art form. Those who have a ticket to this phenomenal production will always remember that they were seated in the room in which it took place.
HAMILTON will play the Eccles Theater through Sunday, January 23, 2022 for a limited exposure. Tickets are still available and a raffle will be held for each performance. For tickets, call ArtTix at 801-355-ARTS (2787) or visit www.artsaltlake.org.
Credit: cast of HAMILTON. Photo by Joan Marcus.