Review: HAMILTON at Morrison Center

Now through December 26th!

By: Dec. 15, 2021
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Review: HAMILTON at Morrison Center

Starting December eighth Boise audiences have the opportunity to be "in the room where it happens" and see the AndPeggy tour of Hamilton. 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. The show is, as Miranda himself put it, "America then, as told by America now. From duels between founding fathers to his personal affairs, this national tour gave Idaho audiences a chance to see it all.

There was a certain flow of excitement in the audience. In addition to the regular Morrison Center crowd, it was fun to see youth accompanying parents and grandparents alike as well as the non-traditional young adult theatre goer. This diverse audience gives me hope that Boise's Theatre future is bright and will continue to flourish.

David Korins did a stellar job designing the set, one that isn't hidden by a curtain, but rather in full view from the moment you walk into the theater. Audience members were able to see everything, from the movements at the top of the show to the last moments. Paul Tazewell designed costumes, the ones in particular who stood out were worn by Jefferson in act two, George Washington in act one, and Maria Reynolds in act two. Each costume had modern elements tied together with historical aspects to bring a flair to the stage. Howell Binkley worked on lighting design, and to quote the guest I brought with "I didn't know lights could play a comedic approach." Which I agreed with. A quick note though, there are a few scenes where flashing lights do occur, so if you are prone to difficulties with flashing lights, proceed with caution.

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. The moment that had the audience erupting into cheers was during The Schuyler Sisters where she sang the line "I'll tell him to include women in the sequel." Rick Negron was the King George we saw. Each time he walked on stage the audience cheered, You'll be Back was an obvious fan favorite. Rebecca E Covington (an understudy for the three sisters) was on for Peggy/Maria and truly was adorable. From the youngest Schuyler sister to the seductive Maria she had a whole array to showcase.

As Phillip/Laurens, Madison/Mulligan, and Jefferson/Lafayette we had Andy Tofa, Brandon Louis Armstrong and Paris Nix. This trio, every time they were on stage together, brought humorous aspects and made the crowd roar. Tofa as Phillip during "Stay Alive Reprise'' made for a teary eyed audience, and Nix during What Did I Miss had the audience laughing. Donald Webber Jr played Burr and one way to word his performance was wow... Wait for It has always been a favorite of mine, and he really deepened that opinion. Room Where It Happens is where we can see the downward spiral for Burr. He and Thomas were a master class as a duo. The way they played off of each other was incredible and made me excited to see. Finally as George Washington, Darnell Abraham. Abraham every single time he walked on the stage, he commanded the attention of not only the characters, but the entire audience as they watched him, captivated by his amazing performance. The way he commandeered the entire stage was a class all its own.

Then we had the ensemble members. From the start of the show, they added exciting elements throughout the show. The way that each person flowed made for fantastic energy. Two ensemble members that captivated me were Charlotte Mary Wen and Ixchel Cuellar who are excellent story tellers with their movements. Each song I found myself paying attention to someone else. My eyes drifted across the stage throughout the show.

If you can see this show, I highly recommend doing so. But don't "wait for it"... the show travels to it's next stop on the 26th of this month. A warning to regular theatre attendees, this show brings a vibrance with it that may have you tossing aside some of the traditional theatre manners. I will admit to a few hoots and hollers escaping from my own mouth during the performance.



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