The first time I realized I was obsessed with my wife was back in 1997. Our high school was putting on a musical, “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.” I didn’t know anything about musicals, I was thinking, “Hey, if this gets me out of school, sign me up!” So, I did! The amazing spotlight work was done by yours truly. It was that show where I realized who I was going to marry and I grew a large appreciation for musical theater. Naturally, my ears perked when I heard that the 11-time Tony Award-winning production of, “Hamilton” was rolling into Hampton Roads.
Hamilton is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I’m probably more into the concept of musical theater, a balance between dialogue and tunes, Hamilton was a straight-up musical. Similar to something like, “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The show starts off with a bang, with Alexander Hamilton introducing himself to everyone and what he’s all about. You also get to know some of the characters around Alexander during the revolution. You know, guys like, Aaron Burr. Alexander is the most determined individual I’ve ever learned about. What was his driving force? How come he saw things so different than most? Hamilton’s inability to find a balance between his cause and family, ultimately comes back to haunt him.
The set was dark and intense. The funny thing I thought was that the political environment back then was similar to ours now, insane! A difference in opinion could get you involved in a pistol duel. You know, take 10 steps, turn around and fire! Those guys were some real gangsters back then to handle their differences with pistols. The 1700s New York wooden run-down tavern illuminated by candlelight played to the fact that America was very underdeveloped but gravitating toward something very special. The spinning floor was a new one for me, but it seemed to keep the tempo moving in the right direction.
The cast was superb and on point. I’m always amazed at how music theater actors hit their marks every time. There may have been a time or two last night where things got weird, in terms of mistakes, you never would have been able to tell. Edred Utomi’s version of Alexander Hamilton was award-winning. Eliza Hamilton, played by Zoe Jensen, had a voice that hypnotized you. Keep an eye out for Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, played by Bryson Bruce he was incredible and he was my favorite. I was also very impressed with George Washington, played by Paul Oakley Stovall. When Paul sang, his voice was like electricity in the air. Then, there was Aaron Burr, played by Josh Tower, he was the perfect villain.
The lights, the sets, the music, the actors, the crowd, the venue, the company, the orchestra, it was all majestic. Words can’t describe how impressed I was with the production. You’ll note several undertones and signs that apply to some of the things going on in this country today.
A very special thanks to Ma’rie Hodges and Chrysler Hall for hosting us last night. My advice, if you’re planning on going to watch the show, take an uber. You’ll save yourself a bunch of time getting out. BRAVO!!!