Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Review: HAMILTON at The Paramount Theatre

Review: HAMILTON at The Paramount Theatre

The phenom is back and as glorious as ever.

Review: HAMILTON at The Paramount Theatre
Julius Thomas III and the
North American Tour of Hamilton.
Photo credit: Joan Marcus

The juggernaut, the glory, the hot ticket in town has returned. Yes, "Hamilton", that multiple Tony Award winning phenomenon that's still a big seller on Broadway has made its way back to Seattle and, good news, you have a bit over a month to catch it. Even better news, they're doing the lottery for $10 tickets again. And possibly the best news, this production and its cast are fantastic!

The Lin-Manuel Miranda opus is, of course, just as great as it ever was as we examine the life and eventual (spoiler alert) death of one of our founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton. A man who worked his way up from nothing, an immigrant with no family or prospects, only to become one of the framers of our government and the man who launched the US to be a financial superpower in the world. But expect no white wigs or old English as this history is told by largely people of color and through hip hop, rap and musical theater. The history is still there but with a bit of poetic license and a very modern package.

With Miranda's book, music and lyrics, combined with Andy Blankenbuehler's killer choreography, this show ranks up there for me as one of those few perfect pieces. So, it's a small wonder that it's still the phenom that it was when it started back in 2015.

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!

Equally powerful were the trio of guys Paris Nix, Brandon Louis Armstrong and understudy Justin Showell (understudies, they get the job done!) as Alexander's cohorts in Act One and foils and son in Act Two. Nix was a delicious rogue in both roles and Armstrong brought in some mighty vocals. But it was Showell who broke our hearts as Laurens, and Alexander's son Philip. I must mention the commanding Commander in Chief, Darnell Abraham and our hysterical King George, Rick Negron. And, of course, one of the hardest working ensembles around today.

Review: HAMILTON at The Paramount Theatre
Julius Thomas III and Donald Webber, Jr. in Hamilton.
Photo credit: Joan Marcus

But this show is carried by Burr and, of course, by the titular Hamilton and the two we had, Donald Webber, Jr. and Julius Thomas III, were outstanding. Webber starts the show with a subtle but wry smile from the get-go, giving us a very layered and heartfelt performance. Especially during his "Dear Theodosia" which elicited more than a few hankies. And Thomas has enough stage presence for 10 Hamiltons with his expressive eyes and stunner smile. And both brought in the most crystal clear and formidable vocals of the night. Both were an absolute pleasure to watch and listen to and rank up there with some of the best I've seen.

If you've never seen Hamilton live (and you really should as the Disney + recording can't compare to seeing it in person) or you've never seen it at all, I'm not sure what you're waiting for. And if you have seen it, no one is saying you can't partake in a little Hamilton goodness again, and this one will certainly satisfy. And so, with my three-letter rating system, I give the North American Tour of "Hamilton" currently at the Paramount Theatre a patriotic YAY. Just go and be in the room where it happens.

"Hamilton" performs at the Paramount Theatre through September 11th. For tickets or information visit Seattle Theatre Group online at

Regional Awards

From This Author - Jay Irwin

         Born and raised in Seattle, WA, Jay has been a theater geek for years.  He attends as many shows as he can around the country and loves taking in new exciting... (read more about this author)

Review: CLOUD TECTONICS from Sound Theatre Company And EarthseedReview: CLOUD TECTONICS from Sound Theatre Company And Earthseed
September 25, 2022

Dear Readers, I am a sucker for both a sweet love story and even more so when we mix in a little magical realism. Movies like “Amelie” or plays like “O Lovely Glowworm, or Scenes of Great Beauty” are some of my favorites. So, something like Jose Rivera’s “Cloud Tectonics”, currently playing at 12th Avenue Arts from Sound Theatre Company and Earthseed, should be right up my alley. And while I find it a sweet little love story, I have to emphasize the “little”. There’s not a whole lot to it. But then, that works well since it's only an intermissionless 90 minutes.

Review: THE GRISWOLDS' BROADWAY VACATION at The 5th Avenue TheatreReview: THE GRISWOLDS' BROADWAY VACATION at The 5th Avenue Theatre
September 23, 2022

The Griswolds’ have been to Wally World, they’ve visited family for Christmas, and they’ve nearly destroyed Europe on their vacations. And now, they’ve loaded up the Wagon Queen Family Truckster and are hitting Broadway in the new musical at the 5th Avenue Theatre, “The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation”. Are the Griswolds ready for Broadway? No. And by the Griswolds’ I mean the characters as well as this show. But just like the Griswolds the show does grow and with a little bit of work (or a lot of work) they and it just might make it on the Great White Way.

Review: CHOIR BOY at ACT TheatreReview: CHOIR BOY at ACT Theatre
September 22, 2022

Dear Readers, I’m going to set the “Way Back Machine” to 2011 where I was first introduced to the works of playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney as the Seattle Rep had produced his stunning “The Brothers Size”, a show that hit me so hard in the gut that I think about it to this day. And while I was still reeling from it in 2012, he presented his astounding “Choir Boy” at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Eventually it made its way to Broadway in 2019 to a huge outpouring of critical acclaim. Sadly, I missed that run but then ACT announced they would be bringing it to Seattle … in 2020. Yup, you guessed it. It didn’t happen then thanks to the pandemic. But now, thanks to the theatre gods, ACT, in conjunction with the 5th Avenue Theatre, have made good on their promise of presenting this amazing work and let me tell you, it was worth the wait.

Review: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at Village TheatreReview: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at Village Theatre
September 18, 2022

Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s “Little Shop of Horrors” is arguably one of those near perfect musicals. I will argue with you on this from now until the plants take over the earth as it remains my absolute favorite. But it needs to be done right. That’s not to say it needs to be done the same way every time. One of the best productions I saw was a modern retelling set in a real skid row. But this B-movie sci-fi adaptation needs to have that humor, that crispness, and that bite to make it work. And while the current production from Village Theatre has some wonderful performances and voices, it suffers from a lack of pace and that crispness and bite to take it from a fun show to a killer one.

Review: WHERE WE BELONG at Seattle RepReview: WHERE WE BELONG at Seattle Rep
September 15, 2022

The history of colonization of indigenous lands in this country and other countries is a sensitive subject that many shy away from. But then to look at it from the viewpoint of those that have been displaced goes a long way to recognizing the issues and keep them from continuing. Madeline Sayet and her amazing play “Where We Belong”, currently playing at the Seattle Rep gives a wonderful insight into this topic and specifically her viewpoint and how it affected her and her Mohegan culture.