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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hamilton Review || March 24

I was lucky enough to get to see Hamilton on Broadway on March 24 to celebrate my sister's birthday. My family had seats in the balcony, but I have to say for the Richard Rodgers theatre, the visibility from the second to last row of the top balcony was surprisingly great. I can't truly put into words what an incredible and important experience seeing Hamilton was, but I will try to share some thoughts.

Eliza and Angelica bows by Viscountess
First of all, I have to say that the staging of this show is mind blowing. The use of the upper balcony pieces on the stage, the dancing, the costuming...there's nothing that I could imagine being any better. The ensemble works together flawlessly. I got to see most of the original cast, with Sydney James Harcourt as Washington and Alysha Deslorieux as Angelica (more on her later!). I do have to give a shoutout to how hilariously funny Jon Rua was as Charles Lee.


Lin Manuel Miranda is an incredible actor. Not that I doubted his abilities, but he absolutely blew me away (heh? get my reference?). His Hamilton is such a fully formed character, so complex and human. His voice was nearly flawless and at times even better than on the album. Even from the back of the balcony, seeing his facial expressions in "It's Quiet Uptown" tore me apart. (Ugly, ugly sobs.)

Anthony Ramos was the biggest surprise of the night for me, by far. Not that I didn't know that he was amazing, but WOW. He gave me a whole new understanding of John Laurens' character (also the tension between Laurens and Hamilton was palpable). And Laurens' and Phillip's death scenes? I don't want to give anything away, but I have so much respect for Anthony's acting ability. (And I blame him for my body's dehydration after the show from all my crying.)

The Schuyler Sisters are Lin's real gift to Broadway, in my opinion. Jasmine Cephas Jones is a force to be reckoned with. Her Peggy is so lovable that I'm actually feeling a bit torn as to who my favorite sister is. (And "Say No To This" was an experience.) Phillipa Soo was incredible as Eliza: she was adorable in "Helpless" and fierce as hell in "Burn." I truly understood the character of Eliza for the first time...she's not the cinnamon roll of the show (that's John Laurens), but rather a complicated and sometimes selfish woman who doesn't necessarily want to share Alexander with the world. Eliza and Peggy's dynamic was one of my favorites in the show. Also...can I just say that both Jasmine and Pippa are stunningly beautiful?

I was so lucky to see Alysha Deslorieux as Angelica Schuyler, since Renee Elise Goldsberry was on vacation in the Bahamas. I was a little concerned at first, since Angelica is my favorite character but Alysha was everything I could have wanted. She's a bit of a softer Angelica than Renee is and her voice is lovely. Alysha portrays Angelica exactly as I would want to. And while we're on the subject, the blocking for all of the scenes between Hamilton and Angelica is so beautiful. I really felt Angelica's pain and longing combined with her complete devotion to her sister.

Daveed Diggs managed to be even better than I expected. His Lafayette and his Jefferson are equally perfect. But more than that, he's a lovely individual. I went to stage door both Thursday and Friday nights and Daveed was there both nights. He spent at least 45 minutes each night talking to people and signing playbills! He was so kind and funny too, plus he takes great selfies.


In case you haven't seen it, here's my video about how much Hamilton means to me. I have to admit I sobbed through a lot of the show....and really broke down at the end. As a history student and a woman, this show resonates with me very deeply and I feel so blessed I got to see it. Plus, for the rest of my life I can say that I saw Lin Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton and no one can ever take that away from me.


If you have any questions about the show (from blocking to character interpretations), make sure to leave them in the comment section below. x

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