Hamilton In Tucson
Those of you who know me, know that I thoroughly enjoy the musical theatre. Even those who may not be well versed in the theatre community have heard of the musical sensation, Hamilton written by no other than Lin-Manuel Miranda. Many of you may know him as the individual who wrote the music for Moana, and others will know his work from the musical In the Heights. For me, my first exposure to his work was from In the Heights. I remember seeing the show in Los Angeles with my grand father and his wife. I was so blown away by the lyrics and choreography. It was this show that made me want to research who could put together such a fantastic broadway production. I boasted to my friends and family about the show and thankfully my brother found a similar love for it when it came to Tucson not long after. Sharing the experience of live theatre is unlike anything else in the world. To be in the audience together and experience such wonderment truly brings a connection unlike any other. Enter Lin's newest musical, Hamilton. The announcement of this musical made my inner showman excited beyond belief. A story about our own countries history, but told in a modern style of music. Breaking the barriers of what is "right" and what artists can truly do. Doing my research I became more excited to one day see this show, but just like many of you, I was blindsided by the pandemic. Live shows were a thing of the past, and with knowing that much had to be done in order for us to get to a sense of normalcy my excitement dulled. Fast forward to this past week. With many of us, we have banned together to make venues safe again, not only for the audience members, but for the artists on stage as well. With the announcement of shows coming back to Tucson and Hamilton being one of the first, my excitement grew once more.
With that being said, let's get into the pros and cons of Hamilton! PROS Hamilton excels at creating some of the best written poetry I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. The words flow in such an advanced sense of rhythm. It's no wonder Lin himself said Hamilton would have enjoyed his writing. The set in this show may seem minimalist to some, but it conveys so much throughout both acts. The settle changes as you move from scene to scene is magical and doesn't feel rushed.
The voices from all of the cast is something to talk about. Julius Thomas III, who plays Alexander Hamilton completely blew me away. The man takes this role to a whole new level and truly makes it his own. I've listened to the first act of Hamilton many times, and the subtle changes he makes brought me to a new level of appreciation. Donald Webber, Jr. who plays Aaron Burr excelled at conveying a strong character to life while also showcasing his vulnerability. Now these are just two of an all-star cast, which you should all see before it leaves Tucson.
Lastly, I do think the underdog to this entire show is the lighting. Dramatic beats in the story truly are told by the smallest changing in lighting from scene to scene. Even the most explosive scenes change. If and when you decide to watch the show, pay close attention to the lighting and you will be as blown away as I was.
As we know, no movie or show is without flaws and Hamilton definitely has a few flaws.
Despite the musical coming in at a two hour and thirty minute run time, the story overall feels a tad rushed. The show jumps from scene to scene leaving the audience to fill in the blanks. Now I'm not saying it's a horrible thing to do, but as we jump from song to song it would be nice to have a little breathing room before the next bass drop. Now I am not a huge fan of the rap genre, but I do strongly enjoy well written work. If you do not have a keen ear, you may miss some important words throughout the story as they are being sung. If you have a hard time listening to rap and deciphering what is being said, then I'd recommend listening to the soundtrack before watching the show.
OVERALL Hamilton showcases many things, from a production point of view and social point of view. There are so many stories that need to be told and with the right writing, acting, and visual display, anything can be made into a wonderful show. I strongly believe this show will motivate and inspire other artist, to perform and create. I want to thank Broadway In Tucson for bringing such a wonderful show to our city. I hope if you are a Tucson local, that you purchase your ticket and enjoy the ride that is Hamilton.
9/10 Shots Taken