Review Roundup: HAMILTON Re-Launches 'Philip Company' Tour

The production reopened its tour for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdown began.

By: Sep. 14, 2021
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Hamilton's Philip company returned to the stage last month in Atlanta, where the production reopened its tour for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdown began.

The cast is led by Pierre Jean Gonzalez as Alexander Hamilton, with Ta'Rea Campbell, Marcus Choi, Jared Dixon, Desmond Sean Ellington, Warren Egypt Franklin, Neil Haskell, Elijah Malcomb Stephanie Jae Park, Paige Smallwood, and more.

Learn more about the production and its upcoming dates at https://hamiltonmusical.com/us-tour/home/.

Let's see what the critics are saying...


Fox Theatre - Atlanta, GA

Ella Embry, BroadwayWorld: HAMILTON at The Fox Theatre is a remarkable show and the perfect note to revive theatre in Atlanta with. With power-house performances, technical masterpieces, and a multiple award-winning score, being able to see HAMILTON almost feels like a rite of Broadway passage now. Even if you've streamed it on Disney+, listened to the soundtrack on repeat for months, and watched as many clips as you could find on YouTube, seeing the show in person makes everything feel new again.

Manning Harris, Atlanta in Town: David Korins' sparkling, wooden, scaffolded set, with two turntables at the center, is an earth-colored marvel. Alex Lacamoire's music supervision and orchestrations are heaven-sent. The entire evening is directed by Thomas Kail, whose work causes a simple coming together that takes your breath away.

Abby Williams, The Emory Wheel: Though I'm incredibly partial to the original cast of "Hamilton" (Lin-Manuel Miranda's rendition of "My Shot" will always give me chills), I was nevertheless star-struck by how the Fox Theatre's production added its own quirks and idiosyncrasies to each character. Stephanie Jae Park's portrayal of Eliza was more emotive than that of Phillipa Soo: Park delivers Eliza's resolute line "I'm erasing myself from the narrative" with an irritated, rather than a removed, tone, which made me gain a new respect for her as a bold character. Neil Haskell plays King George with a nasally, grating voice that only furthers his obnoxious role in the musical. Gonzalez in particular plays a tough, confident and direct Hamilton who raises his voice at British officials and boldly asks for Eliza's hand in marriage. I certainly missed the wistfulness and warmth of Miranda's portrayal, but I appreciated that we as the audience received an entirely new representation of Alexander Hamilton along with Gonzalez' stronger vocal ability.

Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Though it took a few numbers for this "Hamilton" to find its footing, it does quickly get there. For this we must thank Gonzalez, yes, but also Jared Dixon's charismatic Aaron Burr and the glorious Schuyler sisters: the wonderful Stephanie Jae Park as Eliza; the powerful Ta'Rea Campbell as Anjelica; and Smallwood, who also plays Peggy Schuyler. Burr may describe himself as "the damn fool" who killed Hamilton, but comes off more as a shrewd and polished politician than a conventional villain. That's a tribute to Miranda's nuanced writing - of the book, music and lyrics.

Times Union Performing Arts Center - Jacksonville, FL

Charlie Patton, Jacksonville.com: The cast that has come to Jacksonville is outstanding, full of actors who have performed on Broadway and have significant television credits. I particularly liked Warren Egypt Franklin who plays two roles, Lafayette in act one and Thomas Jefferson in act two. Both are great roles, especially Jefferson, and both are well played. Providing rich comic relief is Neil Haskell, who plays an ultimately puzzled King George (puzzled that leaders could just step down; puzzled that John Adams would be allowed to assume Washington's crown).

Kimmel Center - Philadelphia, PA

Chloe Rabinowitz, BroadwayWorld: Culture may shift, discussions may arise, and Hamilton may have struck at the perfect moment in time, but at the end of the day, the quality of the show is undeniable. Hamilton might not feel quite as revolutionary as it once was, but it is still one of the best-written, most creatively staged musicals of all time, one that requires not only a production on Broadway, but in the West End, Los Angeles, Australia, and soon in Germany, as well as three national touring companies.

Providence Performing Arts Center - Providence, RI

Erica Cataldi-Roberts, BroadwayWorld: All of this makes for large shoes to fill, but the Philip Tour is more than up to the task. Aaron Burr is often considered the show's true main character, and Jared Dixon makes that the case for why. Through Dixon's acting choices and detail in even the small moments, Burr's frustrations with Hamilton are palpable from the beginning, and continue to smolder until his turning point during "The Room Where It Happens" in the second act. That the animosity between Burr and Hamilton builds so effectively throughout the show makes "The Election of 1800" sting that much more, with the decision to duel as the inevitable outcome.

Ken Abrams, WUN: There are no low points in this show. Clocking in at almost three hours, there is never a dull moment. If you haven't seen "Hamilton," now's the time. Trust me, you "wanna be in the room where it happens."

Susan McDonald, The Providence Journal: The cast also makes its special mark on the story. Vocally, the most chilling moments come in the second act, when Jared Dixon delivers stunning, controlled notes as Burr in "The World Was Wide Enough," Stephanie Jae Park's sweet tones frame Eliza Hamilton's delivery of the show's most tender moments in "It's Quiet Uptown," and Pierre Jean Gonzalez, whose performance as Hamilton is strong, displays heartbreaking vulnerability in "Hurricane."

Will Demers, Edge Media Network: As is the company cast, the choreography is so intricate and woven through each number. The show itself offers a wealth of striking visuals and memorable musical pieces. One would imagine that a show that is sung, as well as rapped, through would be difficult to follow, but this cast drives each point home beautifully. PPAC's resident director Tiffany Nichole Green re-creates the original Tony-award winning direction of Thomas Rail and choreography of Andy Blankenbuehler.

Shea's Performing Arts Center - Buffalo, NY

Michael Rabice, BroadwayWorld: Pierre Jean Gonzalez is Alexander Hamilton, himself being a near dead ringer to Miranda. He seamlessly transitions from rap to full on singing while commanding the stage at all times. Mr Gonzalez takes on the challenging role with aplomb- no easy feat for a character that is highly educated and politically brilliant but prone to many bad decisions in his private life . He is plagued with relationship issues, to say nothing of decisions that lead to the death of his son and himself, both dying by duels gone wrong.

Peter Hall, Buffalo Rising: I went on the second night of the run, with one "Standby" taking a role, and that was the one-named Meecah in the role of Eliza. She was phenomenal as was most of the rest of the cast. The title role was sung by Pierre Jean Gonzalez whose looks and whose voice were uncannily close to Lin-Manuel Miranda's. So if you're used to hearing Phillipa Soo and Lin-Manuel Miranda (the original Broadway Eliza and Hamilton) in your earbuds, you won't be disappointed at the live, on-stage performance at Shea's.

Matthew Nerber, The Buffalo News: Hindsight has only deepened this material, and has made Miranda's obsessive writing about time - how we choose to use the precious resource, and how futile any grand gesture ultimately looks when held up against our mortality - seem all the more prescient. Now, approaching the second-year anniversary of a global pandemic, Eliza Schuyler's beautiful refrain of "Look around, look around, how lucky we are to be alive right now," feels devastatingly true.

Ann Marie Cusella, Welcome 716: Pierre Jean Gonzalez personifies the "young, scrappy, and hungry" Hamilton in a role that he has made his own. His cocksure young man-on-the-make is full of himself, and shows he has the brains and courage to back up his bravado. Mr. Gonzalez does this with great aplomb, and then is able to shift into a more thoughtful Hamilton as the years and his choices catch up with him. His posture changes and he walks a bit slower. He talks less, but unfortunately in the end, does not smile more. Mr. Gonzalez seamlessly makes this transformation.

Schuster Performing Arts Center [Mead Theatre] - Dayton, OH

Michael Woody, Dayton Local: For the last few years there's been a lot of hype about Hamilton, and similar to Wordle, I didn't buy into it all. Unlike anyone in D.C though, I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong. Due to my preference of musicals with dialogue mixed in between the songs, I shouldn't like Hamilton. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it. To not appreciate the brilliance of the show would be criminal, as its exceptionally done. I highly admire Lin-Manuel Miranda for writing such a masterpiece. From beginning to end, for nearly three hours with barely any silence, every word flows in perfect rhythm. That's not easy to do, as I sometimes struggle for two sentences to go together seamlessly. Plus it covers content from hundreds of years ago and translates into rap, hip hop, R&B and other modern music genres.

DeVos Performance Hall - Grand Rapids, MI

John Kissane, The Rapidian: Pierre Jean Gonzalez played the titular character. It's quite a role, requiring that the actor rap well and sing movingly, all while transitioning from idealistic youth to battered, but still morally-driven, middle age. Gonzalez succeeded admirably. And, while it might be heretical to say so, he sings better than Miranda.

Benedum Center for the Performing Arts - Pittsburgh, PA

Greg Kerestan, BroadwayWorld: In the title role of A dot Ham, Pierre Jean Gonzalez brings the appropriate amount of naivite, enthusiasm and gravitas. He doesn't rap as well as Lin (this is a universal statement over the cast: their singing is often better but they lack the tailor-made hip-hop flow of the originals), but he sings much better and is notably more confident than the Godfather himself in the dancing portions. Blaine Alden Krauss also shines as Hamilton's off-and-on nemesis Burr, his smooth baritone fitting the calculated political schemer well. Nick Sanchez's bundle of energy performance makes Lafayette/Jefferson a galvanizing portrayal, and Elijah Malcolmb gives the best performance as Philip Hamilton I've ever seen, aging from a preteen boy to a cocky wannabe gangster so realistically you'd almost think it was two different performers. Stephanie Jae Park's voice is cool and smooth and soothing, making her quietly passionate Eliza the emotional center of the show as always, while Ta'Rea Campbell's righteous fire and fury makes "The Schuyler Sisters" and "Satisfied" kick.

Landmark Theatre - Syracuse, NY

Tony Curulla, Syracuse.com: It's a darn good thing the M&T Bank Broadway Series was able to secure a "road" company of the blockbuster "Hamilton" for a 13-day run at the reinvigorated Landmark Theatre in downtown Syracuse, because once word got out from early attendees, Syracuse might have had its own revolutionary upheaval from disappointed musical theater fans had the tour stopped for just a typical three-day engagement.

Wharton Center [Cobb Great Hall] - East Lansing, MI

Liz Nass, State News: This story is character-driven, with most of the cast having large and demanding roles. One character that stood out to me in this cast, one I had never been pulled to before, was John Laurens, played by Elijah Malcomb. The actor played it in such a dynamic way that made me care about the character more than I ever had in my years of watching the show. Another character that I had underestimated was James Madison, which had more of a comedic personality rather than informative and deliberate, just working as Jefferson's sidekick.

Fox Theatre - St. Louis, MO

Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The cast of the national touring production is first-rate - particularly Gonzalez and Dixon, who bring to their roles just the right balance of humor and gravitas, and Stephanie Jae Park, in a heartbreaking turn as Hamilton's wife, Eliza.

Civic Center Of Greater Des Moines - Des Moines, IA

DC Felton, BroadwayWorld: One of the great parts of seeing shows like Hamilton multiple times is how you notice different parts of the show. That can be from where you are sitting. The first time I saw the tour, I was sitting up close and could see some of the details of the fantastic costumes, but I wasn't able to see the turntable. This time I got to sit further back. While I couldn't see as many of the small details, I was able to take in the whole story the show is presenting. So the elements of storytelling used throughout the show hit me differently.

The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts - Louisville, KY

Dortha Hagan, Leo Weekly: The choreography, like the music, made a statement that was relatable and easy to understand. My 10-year-old, at the age minimum recommendation, followed along and did not tire of the performance at any point. Instead, my son reveled in it, hoping his brothers could soon see the production. The story, at three points, had me in tears. One of which was when Washington, played by Marcus Choi, sang in "One Last Time" about the virtue of handing over the nation to and modeling how to do this. The fragile United States of America and the recent attack on our democracy were in my mind and heart. I have a new respect for remembering this legacy that Washington had imbued upon us as a nation-knowing that, only recently, our democracy was very close to becoming lost.

Kirby Adams, Courier Journal: And while Hamilton is the lead character, he's certainly not the only star of this touring production. Marcus Choi portrays George Washington as a stoic commander who thrilled the Kentucky Center audience with his powerful performance of "One Last Time" near the middle of Act II. While it's tough to like "villian" Aaron Burr, the actor who plays him, Jared Dixon, is so convincing in the role you may have to remind yourself he's probably a very nice guy (and uber talented performer) in real life. And believe us when we say you'll absolutely be thankful you're "In the Room Where it Happens," when Dixon takes the stage.

Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts - Hartford, CT

Bonnie Goldberg, The Middletown Press: Incorporating hip-hop, rhythm and blues, Broadway show tunes, jazz and soul, "Hamilton" enjoys a grand set created by David Korins, period costumes designed by Paul Tazewell, illumination by Howell Binkley, sound mastered by Nevin Steinberg, orchestration by Alex Lacamoire, clever choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and superb direction by Thomas Kail.

Christopher Arnott, The Hartford Courant: There's lots of fine vocalizing in many styles, but it's particularly thrilling to hear such skilled, fierce rapping from Thomas Jefferson (Warren Egypt Franklin), Hercules Mulligan (played on Thursday night by Conroe Brooks, one of several deviations from the cast listed in the program) and John Laurens (Elijah Malcomb).

National Arts Centre - Ottawa, ON

Courtney Castelino, BroadwayWorld: Each touring production is named after a character in the show. The Ottawa touring cast has the "Philip" moniker attached to it. It is generally expected that touring production casts may not always be as experienced as those you might see on the Great White Way, but performances from the entire Philip Tour were on par with their Broadway counterparts. The standout to me was Ta'Rea Campbell in the role of Angelica - she gave a powerful performance and stole the scene whenever she appeared. Her vocals in one of my favourite songs, "It's Quiet Uptown", were so heartfelt, it quite literally brought tears to my eyes. Jared Dixon and Gonzalez as Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, respectively, were both outstanding and commanded the stage with their presence. Magula portrayed Eliza as simultaneously sweet and strong. Magula understudies the role of Eliza, but you would never know it from her performance.

Proctor's Theatre - Schenectady, NY

Matthew G. Moross, The Daily Gazette: And, for the R & H fans, a big note - there is no overture. Nothing that gives you a listener's digest of tunes before we dive in. There are eleven notes of orchestral introduction to the show. That's it. And that's not a lot to get you pumped and primed for what lies ahead. So maybe hit the 'Tube of Yous' and listen to a number or two from the show. You won't be spoiling anything. Or ask one of your younger family members to grab two friends and ask them to perform "The Schuyler Sisters" number. Trust me they know it. You'll be singing it on the way home. "Work."

Altria Theater - Richmond, VA

The Free-Lance Star

Murat Theatre - Indianapolis, IN

Scott L. Miley, The Lebanon Reporter: Of special note, Marcus Choi as George Washington sings like the leader of a nation; he exemplifies the pressure that Washington is facing. Choi and Blaine Alden Krauss as Aaron Burr are physically and vocally commanding. Krauss' tenor is crisp and assertive, enough so that audience members might root for Burr in the first act.

Fox Cities Performing Arts Center - Appleton, WI

Kelli Arseneau, Post Crescent: From the first beats of the opening song, "Hamilton" immediately makes it clear to the audience that the two-and-a-half hour show is a spectacle, with dynamic choreography, goosebump-inducing harmonies and intense, passionate lyrics.

Plaza Theatre - El Paso, TX

Victor R. Martinez, El Paso Inc.: Krauss’ Hamilton took the audience on an excitable ride displaying a remarkable wide range of vocal complexity going from the rap-style “My Shot” in the first act to the melancholic “It’s Quite Uptown” in act two.

Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences - Lubbock, TX

Morgan-Taylor Thomas, MRT: This cast gives more to its audience than a dramatic display. Through devout dedication, each member portrays an act of fascinating enthusiasm and expertise, both captivating and profound. The one hour and forty-minute commute from Midland-Odessa? Pocket change.

Lied Center for Performing Arts - Lincoln, NE

L. Kent Wolgamott, Lincoln Journal Star: As for the production, “Hamilton” is strikingly staged, with intricate ensemble dance numbers and intimate moments in front of a large wooden set with a moving staircase. The orchestra was on point from start to finish.

James M. Nederlander Theatre - Chicago, IL

Tina St. Angelo Wetzel, BroadwayWorld: Directed by Thomas Kail, this incredible ensemble of actors keeps the audience riveted for 2 hours 45 minutes. It moves seamlessly through the decades.  Andy Blankenbuehler’s choreography is explosive. The set design by David Korins is filled with levels, stairs, and ropes. The set is not behind a curtain when patrons enter the theatre. The oohs and awws are amazing to hear. The stellar orchestra conducted by Emmanuel Schvartzman brings Miranda’s score to new heights. Howell Blinkley’s lighting design is a feast for the eyes. The shadows and then bright lights are used effectively for the story.  Paul Tazewell’s costumes are vibrant and rich. One of the few shows where the men wear really beautiful costumes. 

Steven Oxman, Chicago Sun Times: The lasting essentialness of this show is why I felt a twinge of concern — not disappointment yet, just a creeping worry — that the touring version seems smaller even though it isn’t (though this is a larger theater than when it played here last time) and with a slightly diminished sense of physical energy (to be fair, I was seeing the second show of the day). Perhaps it’s simply familiarity (this is my fifth time seeing the show), but I don’t think so. 

Dennis Polkow, New City Stage: But the touring production that opened Thursday at the Nederlander Theatre has Broadway-ized the tempos, rhythms, volumes, voices and forces which has the effect of dulling much of the urgency and swagger of the show. That is an aesthetic choice, of course, which I suspect many will welcome. I found myself holding my breath for the anticipated electricity experienced last time around only to find flashes here and there, but that the lightning never fully struck.

Kathy D. Hey, Third Coast Review: Pierre Jean Gonzalez is equally compelling as Alexander Hamilton. Gonzalez projects the passion and zeal to form the new republic and break free of King George III. His voice is smooth and he is nimble as a rapper. He does an excellent job of showing the humanity and weaknesses of Hamilton’s ambition. Gonzalez has great chemistry with Nikisha Williams playing Eliza Schuyler Hamilton. Williams has a beautiful voice and solid stage presence to hold her own in the story of a Founding Father. There is also an electric chemistry between Hamilton and Lencia Kebede as Eliza’s sister Angelica. The passion between Angelica and Alexander is the intellect and a mutual love of Eliza. Kebede is a fine singer harmonizing with Williams and Jen Sese as the third Schuyler sister Peggy.

Fox Theatre - Atlanta, GA

Sammie Purcell, Rough Draft: Each performer on stage took care to differentiate themselves from the performances we know and love, turning in great character work in the process. As King George, Neil Haskell makes a joke of pomp and circumstance, pitching his voice high in his nasal cavity and turning the king into a simpering, petulant child. During “Burn,” in which Hamilton’s wife Eliza laments his infidelity, Nikisha Williams turns in one of the more searing renditions I’ve ever heard, a current of rage underscoring her sadness and pain. And as Angelica Schuyler, Lencia Kebede brought down the house during “Satisfied,” the eldest Schuyler sister’s number about her feelings for Hamilton. Kebede’s voice is smooth and effortless, and her vocal ad libs at the end seem to soar. 

Emma Loggins, FanBolt: While the allure of the original Broadway cast of Hamilton remains unmatched, Wednesday night’s performance did offer a new take on some expected characterizations, which, as noted above, isn’t a bad thing. It’s just different from what fans of Hamilton have come to appreciate. For example, some characters seem a little stiffer or subdued, feeling as if they’re dealing with more of an internal struggle than outwardly displaying the anger or passion that fans are used to the performances conveying (I specifically note this for Pierre Jean Gonzalez’s Hamilton and Deon’te Goodman’s Aaron Burr).




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