‘Hamilton’ on tour: Yes it is, and yes it does
By Bob Abelman
Yes, it is.
Worth the wait. Worth the cost. The most profound theatrical experience you are likely to have. A simultaneous celebration of a country founded on the sweat equity of young, risk-taking immigrants and criticism of a country that has largely forsaken this history. Inspiring.
Yes, it does.
Live up to the hype. Reinvent and revitalize the musical theater art form. Serve up the perfect storm of historical significance, ingenious writing, gorgeous orchestration, stunningly innovative choreography, visionary design that saturates the stage, and an ensemble where everyone from star to swing is exceptional.
Yes, it did.
Earn for writer/lyricist/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda a Pulitzer Prize, 11 Tony Awards (out of 16 nominations), seven Drama Desk Awards (out of 14 nominations), a record-breaking seven Olivier awards (out of 13 nominations), and a Grammy.
As Hamilton raps early in the musical: “This is not a moment; it’s the movement.”
So much has been written about “Hamilton” since its introduction as a concept album at a 2009 White House event, an intimate evening of poetry, music and the spoken word. It was there that Miranda performed what would be the show’s title song, which showed that exposition drawn from Ron Chernow’s weighty Alexander Hamilton biography can be incredibly entertaining when in rhyme and set to a hip-hop beat.
Even more has been written since the show’s sold-out 2015 off-Broadway premiere and its record-breaking box office sales on Broadway.
A review of this show on tour risks traversing nothing but familiar terrain. The only unknown at this point is whether the show will win over its Cleveland audience.
Yes, it will. cv
Touring “Hamilton” at Playhouse Square
WHERE: KeyBank State Theatre, 1519 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
WHEN: Through Aug. 26
TICKETS & INFO: $99-$475, call 216-241-6000 or visit playhousesquare.com
Bob Abelman covers professional theater and cultural arts for the Cleveland Jewish News. Follow Bob at Facebook.com/BobAbelman3. 2017 AP Ohio Media Editors best columnist.
Originally published in the Cleveland Jewish News on July 11, 2018.
Lead image: Elijah Malcomb as John Laurens (from left), Joseph Morales as Alexander Hamilton, Kyle Scatliffe as Marquis De Lafayette, Fergie L. Philippe as Hercules Mulligan, and the “Hamilton” company. Photo / Joan Marcus