Hamilton’ at Playhouse Square: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical is as awe-inspiring as ever
While sitting at the Playhouse Square during Hamilton’s opening night show, I became aware of three basic facts about this musical
1. The musical has won several awards as an ever-green story that continues to thrill audiences nationwide despite its age.
2. Never be tempted to dismiss this touring cast because they are not the original members. The ensemble that the musical has on the road deserves your full attention as they are just as talented.
3. Whether you are bedazzled by the stellar choreography from Andy Blankenbuehler or the daredevil direction from Thomas Kail, the brilliance of this show will always lie in the pulsing music of Lin-Manuel Miranda. The soundtrack of the musical is full of innovative cadences and rhymes while being packed full of more American historical past than your high school lessons – all of these are summarized into a 144-word-per-minute performance.
It can be seen that all 3,200 attendees of the Hamilton Cleveland at the KeyBank State Theatre agreed with the above discoveries. They laughed, sang along, laughed, and cheered. They couldn’t resist the invitation from King George (played by Neill Haskell) to sing along with him on the song “You’ll Be Back.” There is nothing better than being in the theatre live to sing along to a remarkable tune.
For those living under a rock, Hamilton is an award-winning musical that features the motivating story of Alexander Hamilton (played by Pierre Jean Gonzalez). Hamilton is a penniless immigrant who deployed his power of the pen and creative thinking to become noticeable and get promoted to be a trusted ally of George Washington (played by Marcus Choi). This all happened while the Revolution War was on. Hamilton later ended up as the first secretary of the American treasury. Somehow, he became a lifelong rival of Aaron Burr (played by Jared Dixon), became Thomas Jefferson’s (played by Cleveland’s own Warren Egypt Franklin), while forming a strong friendship with Angelica Schuyler (played by Ta’ Rea Campbell) and ended up marrying Eliza (played by Nikisha Williams) her sister.
This is the story of how America was born as told by Americans of today, as Rory O’Malley (another member of the cast from Cleveland) who played King George in the December 19 show, explained it to me. Sound tracked with original music that blends Broadway, R&B, pop, jazz, and hip-hop, you get entertaining war battle duels, political dishonesty, a complicated love story involving three people, more battles, and a tawdry romantic affair. There is also the famous interference from Great Britain about the French revolution or an establishment of a national bank which was reduced to remarkable rap battles.
Hamilton may not just be among the stage shows that are most beloved within the last ten years, but among the most hyped musicals on Broadway of all time. Its ability to thrill thousands on stage or millions of Disney+ viewers has not been dimmed by the fact that it is almost a decade old. While the tour is used to capture the ever-original production from Miranda, performances from the diverse and talented cast help refresh and spice up the ever-green show. In my opinion, being the first-generation child of US immigrants and a person of colour, this is truly an awe-inspiring and aspirational experience.
Making a return to Cleveland after its 2018 run, “Hamilton” will be shown for the next forty-two days. This is a show that is not to be missed.
“Hamilton” is currently being shown at the KeyBank State Theatre, 1519 Euclid. Ave., from now to Jan. 15. The Hamilton tickets are sold for between $39 and $249 and can be bought on playhousesquare.org. Through the official mobile app for the show, a weekly lottery will provide fans with $10 tickets which are limited in number.