If Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, moves to Broadway this season, I expect it to bring home major gold. Despite their extension at the Public Theatre until May 9th, I have heard Hamilton, is moving to the Richard Rodgers this season. This hip-hop musical is like 1776, Les Miz, In The Heights, Rent and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson all rolled into one, plus more. It is an exciting new form of musical, with original music as well as throwbacks to the past. The choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, will have anyone who sees this, wanting to learn this prolific new dance language. This stellar cast under the direction of Thomas Kail has history never looking so good or bad! Hamilton’s does something, that has not been done well before; it has taken colorblind casting and made me not see color. The reason for this is there is a total blend of America’s immigrant heritage. It is not just done for “political correctness.”
Hamilton blends political intrigue and jealously, so that at times Hamilton and Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom Jr.) seem like Mozart and Solaria in Amadaus.
The most memorable performance of the evening (and that is saying a lot with this cast) was Brian d’Arcy James as King George III. His pompous, arrogant, King, on the downside is highlighted with a song that sounds right out of The Partridge Family.
Hamilton was a womanizer and has caught the eye of two sisters. His long suffering gentile wife Eliza Schuyler (Phillipa Soo) and her intellectual sister Angelica (Renée Elise Goldsberry). If that weren’t enough, Hamilton is blackmailed by the husband of Maria Reynolds (Jasmine Cephas James) whom he has an affair with and becomes his undoing. When Eliza learns of this, her disillusionment is heartbreaking. Like all good political wives, it is because of her this story is being told.
There are so many talented actors here the question becomes who to nominate. Thomas Jefferson and Marquis De Lafayette’ s Daveed Diggs has moments of sheer brilliance. Ms Goldsberry’s depth as the long suffering Angelica is devastating and subtly performed. Leslie Odom Jr’s Burr is masterfully done as we see his torment. Hamilton is theatrical and make no mistake it is Mr. Miranda’s show. He not only wrote the words and music, but plays Hamilton.
Thomas Kail’s direction is fluid and interesting. Miranda’s lyric’s are clever, sarcastic, truthful and witty. We have all been wanting to be in “The Room Where It Happened.”David Korins’s set is simple with accented ropes, exposed brick and wood. The costumes stay true to the period and I can see these being sold in Bloomingdales to the hip and the cool.
This show is reaching audiences and they are responding. I hope the rumors are true and this show does move to Broadway while the buzz is here and now. This show is going to make for one interesting Tony Awards.
Hamilton: Newman Theater, Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St.,through May 3