Darnell Abraham Talks Challenges of Playing His Role in HAMILTON

‘Hamilton’ now plays at the Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands.

By: Apr. 22, 2024
Darnell Abraham Talks Challenges of Playing His Role in HAMILTON
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Darnell Abraham, the American actor who brought George Washington to life in the global sensation “Hamilton,” recently shared his insights with BroadwayWorld. He delved into his profound connection with the role, the unique challenges it presents, and the distinctiveness of the current international tour of “Hamilton” that sets it apart for everyone involved. 

The "Hamilton" international tour, a fusion of performances from various cities, including Hamburg, Broadway, and London’s West End, is set to captivate audiences at the Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands. It runs for a limited time, from April 19 to June 9, 2024.

Before clinching the role of Washington in “Hamilton,” Abraham was seen as Adam and Mister's understudy in the first U.S. National Tour of “The Color Purple,” the Broadway revival production. He also had the opportunity to play Coalhouse Walker Jr. in “Ragtime,” Drs. Fine and Madden in “Next to Normal,” and Martin Luther King Jr. in “I Dream.”

However, Washington's role resonated more deeply when he first listened to the hip-hop musical’s cast recording. 

“There’s something about it, about the role, about what I heard just resonated with me. And there was no ego attached to this. It wasn't like I would play that role because that's mine.

“It was so much deeper than that. And I had to repeat every song in the soundtrack. And then it all came together in 2018; I got the offer,” he said.

But indeed, he had a more profound internal struggle with playing Washington, who was of English descent.

“The elephant in the room is, you know, he enslaved Black Americans, and I'm a black man playing the role, a descendant of enslaved Black Americans. I've grappled with that,” he confessed.

“I had to sit with that. However, for me personally, the only way for me to move forward was to choose between two options. One was to turn it into, I guess, a form of sticking it to the man, or I could choose to forgive him.

“Herein lies the opportunity to hopefully inspire our audiences to overcome these horrible, horrific acts of evil and move forward.”

Featuring a unique score that fuses rap, hip-hop, jazz, pop, R&B, and Broadway, “Hamilton” tells the story of one of America’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, who served as the first U.S. treasurer from 1789-1795. An immigrant orphan born in the West Indies, Hamilton was young and impoverished yet determined to make a mark on this new country.

In the Singapore leg, Abraham will rejoin Jason Arrow (Alexander Hamilton), DeAundre’ Woods (Aaron Burr), Rachelle Ann Go (Eliza Hamilton), Akina Edmonds (Angelica Schuyler), Darnell Abraham (George Washington), David Park (Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson), Shaka Bagadu Cook (Hercules Mulligan/James Madison), Jacob Guzman (John Laurens/Philip Hamilton), Elandrah Eramiha (Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds), and Brent Hill (King George).

Based on Ron Chernow’s biographical account of Hamilton, the musical features the music, lyrics, and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire.

BWW Video: Oliver Oliveros; Photo: Ricky Dorn




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