Second Impressions: Hamilton at the Public

After seeing Hamilton for a second time on Friday, January 23, 2015, a few additional aspects of the show stood out to me:

  • The choreography: Watching the show for a second time allowed me to take in more of the exuberant, dynamic choreography.  The amount of movement on stage and the use of all aspects of the set made the Newman Theater seem large enough to set the stage for the American Revolution and the battles over the American founding.  Quite an accomplishment for choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, who also did the choreography for In the Heights and Bring It On.  Blankenbuehler gave a brief interview published by Dance Magazine this month that provides some additional insight into his process for developing the show’s choreography
  • The ensemble was extremely talented and their performances contributed significantly to the dynamism of the performance.  Everyone moved seamlessly, enabling the show to transition rapidly through three decades of American history.  The performers in the ensemble included: Carleigh Bettiol, Ariana Debose, Sydney James Harcourt, Sasha Hutchings, Thayne Jasperson, Jon Rua, Seth Stewart, Betsy Struxness, and Ephraim Sykes.
  • Burr as the narrator- Odom’s Burr was a complex, morally ambiguous, and undeniably charismatic narrator.  The show furthered his role as narrator by inserting him into various events in Hamilton’s life, Forrest Gump style (i.e. the Laurens-Lee duel, Hamilton’s wedding, the Reynolds Affair).  Odom did an incredible job of humanizing Burr and expressing his inner conflicts.
  • Angelica Hamilton- Renee Elise Goldsberry (who also played the recurring role of ASA Geneva Pine on the CBS show Good Wife) brought her great voice and stage presence to several songs.  The deep friendship and affection between Hamilton and his sister-in-law has long been a subject of historical speculation, and although the show took some liberties with history to bolster artistic effect (Angelica Schuyler eloped with John Church in 1777, three years before Alexander Hamilton met both sisters), I thought Angelica’s character worked very well and I enjoyed Goldsberry’s moving performance Friday night.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the score and all of the songs and am already excited for the album.  Some of my absolute favorites (without giving anything away) were:
    • “Alexander Hamilton”- way to start off with a bang.  Loved this opening.
    • “You’ll Be Back”- Brian d’Arcy James had insane chemistry with the crowd as the hilarious yet manically sinister King George
    • “In the Room Where it Happens”- Leslie Odom Jr.’s rendition of the song during the second act was incredibly catchy and also made for some great character development.  This is one I’ll be humming all the way back to Los Angeles.
    • “The Reynolds Pamphlet”- Daveed Diggs’ cocky exuberance made this song.
    • “It’s Quiet Uptown”- incredibly moving. #allofthefeels
    • “Finale”- Phillipa Soo owned this. #welloftears

One thought on “Second Impressions: Hamilton at the Public

  1. David Kudlowitz says:

    Hello! Wanted to drop you a line and tell you I love your website – it has a lot of great articles/reviews on it. I am also a self proclaimed Hamilton nerd since Chernow’s book and also saw the Hamilton musical 2x this past week (huge Lin-Manuel Miranda fan as well). Anyway – keep up the great work with the website!

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