Review Roundup: HAMILTON's 'And Peggy' Tour; What Are the Critics Saying?

The "And Peggy" touring company of Hamilton officially reopened in San Francisco on August 10.

By: Dec. 08, 2021

Hamilton (And Peggy Company)

The "And Peggy" touring company of Hamilton officially reopened in San Francisco on August 10.

HAMILTON is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation's first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, HAMILTON is the story of America then, as told by America now.

With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, HAMILTON is based on Ron Chernow's biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

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

SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center - Sacramento , CA

Courtney Symes, BroadwayWorld: As if all of the above wasn't enough, this tour (the "And Peggy" tour) has it all. Unparalleled vocals, acting, and dancing, plus some standout performances of favorite numbers. Donald Webber, Jr., a detestably whiny Aaron Burr (on purpose), delivers his best performance of the show with "The Room Where it Happens." Darnell Abraham's powerful voice-befitting of a modern major general-both mourns and celebrates stepping down as our nation's first president in "One Last Time." The energetic Battle of "Yorktown" is always a choreographic and lyrical wonder. My favorite performance was Marja Harmon's "Satisfied", detailing Angelica Schuyler's initial encounter with her sister's husband, Alexander Hamilton.

Edward Smith, The cast of the Sacramento production is outstanding as well, in particular, Julius Thomas III in the leading role, and Victoria Ann Scovens as his wife, Eliza Hamilton. For anyone worried that the show may not be as enjoyable without the original cast, those fears are unfounded - incredible talent is on display in the Sacramento production.

San Jose Center for the Performing Arts - San Jose, CA

David John Chavez, Bay Area Plays: Anyone who saw the show in San Francisco before the worldwide shutdown will welcome back a few familiar faces in key roles. In the title role, Julius Thomas III carries a delightful set of chops that allow him to sing with empathy and rap with impunity. And Brandon Louis Armstrong is back, returning to the Bay Area with his sublimely smooth flow as Hercules Mulligan and James Madison. Others stand out, especially a phenomenal Donald Webber, Jr. as the highly conflicted and tortured Aaron Burr, Hamilton's rival and assassin. The three Schuyler sisters, which include Maria Harmon as embattled Angelica, Ashley De La Rosa as Peggy and Maria, and Victoria Ann Scovens as the loyal Eliza, are the heartbeat of the show, pushing plot with a wide range of vocal stylings.

Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts - Reno, NV

Jenny Kane, Reno Gazette Journal: The thing that really makes this production sing is that after a year and a half of being paused, you might think the playbill gathered dust. Anything but. The show feels like it was written yesterday, after the pandemic, after the election, after the riot, after the collective grief of a nation.

Centennial Hall at the University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ

Kathleen Allen, As is Donald Webber Jr., as Aaron Burr. Webber easily made us forget Leslie Odom Jr., who played the role so brilliantly on Broadway. Webber moved with grace, sang with force and embodied this character who is at once ambitious and politically ambiguous, a jealous friend and a tender father. He is the tragic figure in "Hamilton," and Webber played him beautifully.

Morrison Center for the Performing Arts - Boise, ID

Dana Oland, Idaho Statesman: I know that's a bold claim, but the show has everything, including clever lyrics and a diversity of musical styles - from hip-hop to boogie-laced jazz to straight-up Broadway power ballads. It offers a showcase for talented performers and pulls out nearly all the theatrical tricks in the book to tell a riveting story that touches on history, humanity and the American psyche.

Jessa Moore, BroadwayWorld: Julius Thomas III brought a contagious energy to the title role of Hamilton the moment he walked onto the stage. He had the audiences on the edge of their seats and applauding as the show progressed. Victoria Ann Scovens was radiant as his wife, the loyal Eliza. Scovens portrayed an excellent range of emotions. Marja Harmon was Angelica and was able to really make her place on the stage known.

Eccles Theatre - Salt Lake City, UT

Tyler Hinton, BroadwayWorld: In this precarious time for live theatre, standbys/swings/understudies are even more crucial than ever to ensure the show can go on. At the reviewed performance, standby Deaundre' Woods played Aaron Burr with fervor and smoldering resentment. He and Thomas were a wonderful pairing that especially highlighted the characters' early youthful zeal. The performers' similarities and differences spurred the audience to explore Burr and Hamilton as two sides of the same coin. Their dual rendition of "Dear Theodosia" was a highlight.

Kathryn Olsen, Front Row Reviewers: Listed in the program as a standby, Woods was announced on the night of this performance as performing Aaron Burr. Woods plays him with a riveting mix of intensity and purpose, admitting to his fatal role in the story in the opening number, but also playing an amusing foil for the young Hamilton. His performance of "The Room Where it Happens" is unforgettable as he boils a governmental stalemate down to several amusing hypotheticals because history has no record of how the issues were resolved. On the other hand, his resentment and vengeance turn to remorse towards the end and he portrays this as a man who has seen that decision shape the remainder of his life.

Buell Theatre - Denver, CO

Quincy Snowdon, Sentinel: From the clever lighting design to the sneakily jaw-dropping costumes to the triumphant choreography - god, the choreography - this iteration of Hamilton succeeds in threading a dazzling needle in seemingly incalculable ways. Submerging the audience in the spectacle quickly and effectively explains the veritable truckload of Tony awards and tomes of written praise handed to a show that in less than a decade has elbowed its way onto the Mount Rushmore of musicals.

Saroyan Theatre - Fresno, CA

Joshua Tehee, The Fresno Bee: The short answer is yes, in that it ticks off all of the things you want out of a Broadway production. It has expansive set design, costuming and lighting. It has the large ensemble numbers, with voices and bodies soaring across the stage. There are also strong solo performances, too, especially Julius Thomas III and Donald Webber Jr. (playing the titular Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr).

Keller Auditorium - Portland, OR

Conner Reed, Portland Monthly: Indeed, there is maybe no act more Sisyphean than writing a review of the musical Hamilton in the year 2022-the notion that anyone might be agnostic at this point is roughly as insane as asking a stranger point-blank if they "like Adele." But with distance from the red-hot hype of seven years (and two administrations) ago, it's easier than ever to clock the show for what it is: an overstuffed, occasionally brilliant book report from the most precocious kid in class. And it's instructive to consider which of those attributes helped it ascend to cultural juggernaut status.

First Interstate Center for the Arts - Spokane, WA

Sam Sommerfeld, Inlander: From a pure performance perspective, the real standout in this production's cast are Donald Webber, Jr. as Aaron Burr and Marja Harmon playing Angelica Schuyler. Burr is not so secretly the juiciest role in the musical, the pseudo-villain and rival chronicling Hamilton's rise and fall. Webber fully sinks his teeth into the role, bringing a magnetic propulsive energy level that none of his fellow actors come close to matching. The nearest to reaching Webber's peak is Harmon's Angelica who absolutely knocks her lone lead number - "Satisfied" - out of the park with a vocal presence and charisma that really makes Eliza seem like the lesser Schuyler sister.

Carolyn Lamberson, The Spokesman-Review: The best moments of "Hamilton" are human: Burr singing a love story to his daughter and later seething in jealous rage, Eliza crumbling in despair, Angelica pining for the man she chose not to have, Hamilton doing all he can to improve his station in life, whether in wartime or an advantageous marriage or a lofty career. The political stuff is fun - who doesn't love to see a good rap battle? - but feels like it comes at the expense of what could be a deeper, more emotionally true show.

Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Edmonton

Sarah Dussome, BroadwayWorld: Leading the impressive cast is Julius Thomas III, who brings charisma and emotion along with mellifluous vocals. His renditions of expositional opener Alexander Hamilton received thunderous applause, as did the following infectiously catchy group number, My Shot. Thomas III's vocal prowess is matched by that of Donald Webber Jr., who effortlessly portrays Aaron Burr, Hamilton's ally-turned adversary. Webber Jr. brings wry comedic timing and a commanding stage presence, delivering dry one-liners during his interactions with Thomas III and leading a standout rendition of Act 2 showstopper, The Room Where It Happens. From the moment they first cross paths, the two leading men are engaging to watch and dynamically portray Hamilton and Burr's precarious not-quite friendship turned rivalry.

Tom Murray, Edmonton Journal: Speaking of weaknesses there are none to be found in this cast, many of whom have been playing their roles for some time. Thomas III is a whirlwind of energy and clear-eyed ambition, while Webber, Jr. shows the complicated side of a man now deemed a villain in American history. Darnell Abraham is suitably grave and cautious as George Washington, the man around whom many scheme and plot, while Cheree shines in her one-set piece, pining for the man she introduced to her sister. Showell and Armstrong are standouts in their roles, often threatening to steal the show, while Rick Negron, who makes occasional appearances as a foppish King George, is a gem.

Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary

Louis Hobson, Calgary Herald: Because of Andy Blankenbuehler's dazzling choreography, Hamilton is every bit as much a ballet as it is an opera. The stage is almost continuously awash with movement that is always earthy but often sensuous. This is one of Hamilton's strongest points because, even if you're unable to understand or catch all the rapid-fire delivery of the singers, you're mesmerized by the frenzy of the dancers. Your eyes are always at full attention as much as your ears. Even the placing and removing of set pieces, furniture and props are highly stylized and integrated so beautifully into the movement on stage.

Paramount Theatre - Seattle, WA

Jay Irwin, BroadwayWorld: But as good as the show is, it still requires a powerhouse cast to be able to tell it just right. It is NOT an easy show. A show like this requires an outstanding Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton to lead the story. (Check and check.) And some magnificent Schuyler sisters as the heart of the piece. (Triple check.) Let's start with those strong-willed sisters. Marja Harmon leads them off beautifully as the eldest Angelica and when you hear her reach those crescendos in "Satisfied", you'll think you've heard from the Gods. Not to be outdone is Milika Cherée (an understudy on the night I attended) as Eliza, Alexander's loving and beleaguered wife, who brought us to tears by the end. And let's not forget the often-forgotten Peggy who didn't have much as Peggy but as Maria Reynolds, Rebecca E. Covington nailed it!

Princess of Wales Theatre - Toronto

Martin Morrow, The Globe and Mail: The blow-you-away performance, however, comes from Morgan Anita Wood as Eliza, Hamilton's wife. Right from her swoony ballad Helpless, in which she glows with palpable infatuation after meeting Alex at a winter ball, through to her later anger, devastation and, ultimately, sorrowful triumph, she's a vocal and physical presence of such vibrant emotion that it's almost overwhelming. We can only conclude that her husband must have a will of steel to resist her entreaties that he spend less time politicking and more time at home.

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HAMILTON Postpones Performances in Portland Following Flu Outbreak Photo
HAMILTON Postpones Performances in Portland Following Flu Outbreak

BroadwayWorld has just learned that performances of Hamilton at Portland's Keller Auditorium have been postponed. An official statement reads:

Reviews: HAMILTONs And Peggy Tour; What Are the Critics Saying? Photo
Reviews: HAMILTON's 'And Peggy' Tour; What Are the Critics Saying?

The 'And Peggy' touring company of Hamilton officially reopened in San Francisco on August 10.



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