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BWW Review: HAMILTON Returns to Austin

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HAMILTON is a "Non-Stop" (yes, it's a song) thrill ride from curtain to curtain.

BWW Review: HAMILTON Returns to Austin

Lin-Manuel Miranda's HAMILTON, returns to Austin's Bass Concert Hall with full seats and roaring crowds. There are shows that shift the way we see theatre and this is one of those rare productions that will remain in our collective consciousness long after the final notes sound.

If you have been lucky enough to score tickets to Broadway In Austin's presentation, you are fortunate indeed.The Angelica Company's (every touring cast is named for a character) performance of HAMILTON is superb in every way. My humble praise is unlikely to sway you to attend the famous hip-hop musical about an American founding father and the birth of our nation, but I can tell you what to expect if you are a happy ticket holder or manage to grab one of the few remaining seats still on sale. Or perhaps you could win $10 seats through the HAMILTON Lottery, it really works, I won tickets myself during the last tour!

HAMILTON is a "Non-Stop" (yes, it's a song) thrill ride from curtain to curtain. What you'll see is a twin to the Tony winning original seen by millions. The set, lighting, costumes and choreography are as close to the Broadway show as possible, all perfectly executed but the traveling cast. What this tour really brings is fresh performers who give their individual art to each character and the undeniable thrill of live theatre. And what a thrill it is. It's not only a love letter to an American hero, it's a love letter to the Broadway musical written by a poetic master.

I've been listening to the original cast soundtrack since 2016 when my daughter suggested that I'd like it. I was reluctant at first, while historically based shows are my favorite, I felt I was a little old to enjoy a hip-hop musical. I was wrong. Like many of you, I've listened to the album endlessly and could only guess at the staging. I honestly doubted that the performance could make me love the show more. I was wrong again. While I adored the Disney+ film of the original cast with Lin-Manuel Miranda himself as the title character, nothing could prepare me for the absolute wonder of seeing the entire production live, as it was meant to be. The amount of creative genius that went into the birth of this modern masterpiece is mind-blowing. Every moment is filled with motion and meaning. The show wizzes by at light speed barely pausing for thunderous applause from the audience.

While most reviews highlight the acting leads and how wonderful and talented they are, and believe me, every word of praise is infinitely earned; I've decided to spotlight the Ensemble for this article. They are the heart and soul of HAMILTON and deserve just as many accolades. The Ensemble includes: Natalie Kaye Clater, Taylor N. Daniels, John Devereaux, Patrick Garr, Lencia Kebede, Paige Krumbach, Krystal Mackie, Alaina Vi Mederal, Robbie Nicholson, Wesley Ryan and Avery Sobczak. These performers flawlessly told Alexander Hamilton's story with their bodies and voices, for the entire show. They are mesmerizing to watch, full of palpable energy, their physical poetry matching Lin-Manuel Miranda's words with every note. They brought set pieces on and off stage seamlessly completely by magic it seemed. Their physicality in "Hurricane" and "Rewind" was so creative and visually stunning it, quite literally, took my breath away. The Ensemble is truly what makes the show work. Kudos to each and everyone of them, you are masters of your craft and you touched the audience deeply. Thank you for that.

Bass Concert Hall "strongly recommends the wearing of masks regardless of vaccination status". Sadly about a third of the Austin audience on December 8th was unmasked. If you have the chance to attend HAMILTON, which I hope you do, I recommend that you bring a good mask and prepare to have what you think a musical can be turned on its head. I loved every moment of Broadway In Austin's return to the stage.

HAMILTON

Book, Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manual Miranda

Bass Concert Hall

December 7 - 19

Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes with one 15 minute intermission.

Tickets: $49 - $299 texasperformingarts.org


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