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Hamilton Review – Exceeding Expectations

By Barbara Keer

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Hamilton has graced Chicago at the Private Bank Theatre in previews for several weeks but October 19, 2016 was the grand opening and it was spectacular.  Crowds were everywhere and patrons were dressed to the nine.  Hamilton tells the powerful story of Alexander Hamilton and thereby the story of the people who founded this country..  It is thrilling to have Hamilton in Chicago. Everyone I know who has seen this said the exact same thing, “It was even better than I thought it would be”.

 

Opening night, Photo: B. Keer

With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and music supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, HAMILTON is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s 900-page book is said to be unusual in being both histoically accurate, and reading like a novel.

  

A serious moment

Basically, HAMILTON is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. This production brings Hamilton’s tragic story, his rise from a penniless orphan to a position of power and influence, and his fall with the loss of a child, and ultimately his own early death, with scandal along the way. Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Burr  and LaFayette are not the characters I learned about in school.

 

 

After the revolution

There is so much in this story that relates to the state of our country today.  And relating to the country’s current situation in a meaningful way you can register to vote on October 21st at the Private Bank Theatre from 12:30 -1:30- go to the end for more information.

 

  

Alexander Germignani (King George)

What makes this so amazing?  It is the music – a treat in itself listening to the sound track. The music is energetic and intricate, blending hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway. There are the rhyming words, which hang together so well that Shakespeare must be nodding in approval. I found that familiarity with the music before seeing the production greatly enhanced my enjoyment.

 

The stage was a canvas on which the performers were sketched.  The scaffolding around the sides and center of the stage that turned, allowed for the huge cast to fill the space and create many stories.  The costuming and lighting were superb. The choreography and dancing were fabulous.  There is so much energy, creativity and freshness.  And as a friend said to me, "It is smart", in that it brings new information to the audience.

  

Chris De'Sean Lee as Thomas Jefferson

The performers were flawless in their execution, dancing, singing, moving - captivating my attention every second. ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI as King George III provided wonderful comic relief.  Songs that grabbed me were “Alexander Hamilton”, “ You’ll be Back”, “The room Where it Happens”,  and “Washington on Your Side”,  and many more.

 

Interestingly, the Public Theater premiered Hamilton on January 20, 2015 and this was the same stage where Chorus Line premiered 40 years earlier. In the Chicago production, principal roles in HAMILTON are played by ARI AFSAR as Eliza Hamilton; MIGUEL CERVANTES as Alexander Hamilton; ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI as King George III; JOSHUA HENRY as Aaron Burr; JONATHAN KIRKLAND as George Washington; CHRIS DE’SEAN LEE as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson; Tony Award-winner KAREN OLIVO as Angelica Schuyler; JOSÉ RAMOS as John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton; WALLACE SMITH as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison and SAMANTHA MARIE WARE as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds.

  

Miguel Cervantes (Alexander Hamilto), Ari Afsar ( Eliza Hamilton)

HAMILTON also features Sam Aberman, José Amor, Amber Ardolino, Remmie Bourgeois, Chloë Campbell, Yossi Chaikin, Carl Clemons-Hopkins, John Michael Fiumara, Jean Godsend Floradin, Aaron Gordon, Jin Ha, Holly James, Malik Shabazz Kitchen, Colby Lewis, Dashí Mitchell, Justice Moore, Joseph Morales, Eliza Ohman, Samantha Pollino, Antuan Magic Raimone, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Gabriella Sorrentino and Aubin Wise.

 

HAMILTON’s creative team previously collaborated on the 2008 Tony Award ® Winning Best Musical IN THE HEIGHTS.

  

Ready for the revolution

On opening night, as the audience rose in thunderous applause, producer Jeffrey Seller welcomed the audience and proceeded to introduce the following group along with understudies, Ron Chernow and Lin-Manuel Miranda.  Scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, and casting by Telsey + Company, Bethany Knox, CSA.

  

Sisters

My husband and I were also fortunate in stopping at the Grillroom Chophouse & Wine Bar, directly across the street from the theatre where they have a special Hamilton wine selection along with wonderful food and great service. The Hamilton production team even had their pre-opening party here. Ask about their specials for Hamilton.

 

For information on HAMILTON, Hamilton on BroadwayFacebookInstagram and Twitter

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets are available for performances through Sept. 17, 2017 at The PrivateBank Theatre (18 W. Monroe St.) Box Office, the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line (800-775-2000) and online at Broadway in Chicago. There is a maximum purchase limit of 6 tickets per household. Tickets range from $65 - $180 for regular performances with select number of premium seats available for all performances and some increased pricing during the holidays. There is a digital lottery for forty-four day-of-show tickets which will be sold for every performance for $10 each. For further details on the day-of-show digital lottery, visit Broadway in Chicago Hamilton Lottery

The musical is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman and The Public Theater.

The HAMILTON Original Broadway Cast Recording is available everywhere nationwide. The HAMILTON recording received a 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album.

 

The musical is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman and The Public Theater.

The HAMILTON Original Broadway Cast Recording is available everywhere nationwide. The HAMILTON recording received a 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album.

 

Photos: Courtesy of Broadway in Chicago/Hamilton unless otherwise noted.

 

If you missed the documentary about the making of Hamilton, go to Playbill/Hamilton

VOTING INFORMATION

Voter Qualifications

To register to vote, you must be:

  1. A U.S. citizen
  2. At least 18 years old by the general election (November 8, 2016)
  3. A resident of your precinct at least 30 days prior to Election Day

You also must have two pieces of identification. Neither needs to be a photo ID but one must include a current address. Acceptable forms of ID include:

●  Illinois driver's license Illinois state ● ID Employee or student ID ● Credit card ● Social security card ●  Birth certificate ● Utility bill in applicant's name ● Mail postmarked to the applicant

●  Valid U.S. passport ● Public aid ID card ● Lease or rental contract

Key Voting Dates

Date

Event

10/23/2016

Last day to register to vote by online application

10/24/2016

First day of early voting

11/3/2016

Last day to request a mail ballot, including military and overseas voters

11/7/2016

Last day of early voting

11/7/2016

Last day of grace period registration and voting

11/8/2016

Election Day


For more information, visit out Elections Homepage at Cook county clerk- elections

 

 

Published on Oct 20, 2016

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