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BWW Review: HAMILTON Brings Theatre Back to Broadway Sacramento

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Broadway Sacramento's season debut runs through October 10th

Hamilton

After a year and a half hiatus, Broadway Sacramento is back in a big way! Their 2021 season opened on Wednesday in the newly renovated SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center with the most revered piece of theatre in recent memory-Hamilton. Patrons were treated to a beautifully redesigned venue that includes updated sound and seating. Broadway World was able to experience the much-anticipated opening and it was just as magical as a post-pandemic return should be!

I don't think there are many people who haven't heard of Hamilton. Certainly, everyone who pays attention to theatre is familiar with it. They'll remember the anticipation of the original tour and spending hours in the queue in the hopes of buying a ticket. I remember the excitement of driving to San Francisco and the electricity in the air as the curtain rose on the most spectacular show I've ever seen. This has a similar feel since this is the first Broadway tour back in Sacramento and the first return to live theatre for many.

Hamilton details the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of America's founding fathers. Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also wrote In the Heights, Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards in 2017 and holds the record for most Tony nominations. It is still going strong, with productions having resumed in multiple countries.

In the midst of the current division in our country, Hamilton seems particularly timely and the story resonates deeply, forcing us to really consider what is happening and highlighting the importance of a unified populace. As citizens banded together in 1776 and 2001, we need to do so again to move forward. Hamilton is also a reminder that we still have a lot to be proud of. American resilience, opportunity, and determination are unmatched.

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.

Maybe most importantly, these "And Peggy" people are FUNNY. Julius Thomas III's Alexander Hamilton is young, eager, and amusingly naïve before making the transformation to a slightly more polished version of himself. He hilariously quips with Jacob Burns' equally comical Samuel Seabury about allegiance to King George in "Farmer Refuted." Until this performance, it was my least favorite song in the show. Following that, King George's (Rick Negron) "You'll Be Back" is always an audience favorite. Something about telling Americans that he'll kill their friends and family for their love always brings forth sidesplitting laughter. Who would have guessed?

We should all definitely "raise a glass to freedom" and head down to "the room where it happens" before Hamilton performs in Sacramento "one last time," which is on October 10. Tickets and more information are available at www.broadwaysacramento.com, or by calling (916) 446-5880.

Photo credit: Joan Marcus


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