Video: DeAundre' Woods Talks Why HAMILTON Resonates with Audiences

‘Hamilton’ international tour premieres at the Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands, on April 19, 2024.

By: Feb. 27, 2024
Video: DeAundre' Woods Talks Why HAMILTON Resonates with Audiences
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Singapore--BroadwayWorld has had the opportunity to sit down with DeAundre’ Woods, the resident antagonist, Aaron Burr, in the Tony Award-winning musical “Hamilton’s” international tour, which eyes the Lion City next.

With tickets selling fast (as expected), the famed hip-hop musical, which features the music, lyrics, and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda, runs at the Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands, from April 19 to June 9, 2024.

Woods, our interview subject, has been with the “Hamilton” company since its Third “And Peggy” National (U.S.) Tour (2019) and its Puerto Rico premiere (2019), where Miranda reprised his role as Alexander Hamilton, before joining the international tour (2023). Woods has his rounds with different roles in the production, from Hercules Mulligan to Philip Hamilton, from Alexander Hamilton to Aaron Burr.

“My debut on stage was with Lin-Manuel Miranda, who created the show and starred as Hamilton in Puerto Rico. I got to play his son [Philip] there and went on to take over as Hamilton in 2022 full-time,” Woods said.

“And then, eventually, I ended up as Aaron Burr on the international tour. And, so, it's been about four to five years. It doesn't feel like that, but I'm growing up with the show.”

Originally an aspiring professional baseball player, Woods, who sang in his church’s choir as a youngster in Schriever, Louisiana, pursued playing the drums for his school band and singing in a high school choir.  This led to performing on local stages in his hometown and completing a music degree at Louisiana State University (2017).

After college graduation, Woods made his National (U.S.) Tour debut in “Motown: The Musical.” He understudied the lead roles of record producer Berry Gordy and R&B and soul singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson

Joining the “Hamilton” company came next.

Featuring a distinctive 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.

An “American story” through and through, how come the musical has amassed millions of fans beyond the U.S. shores?

Woods pondered, “I think the themes of life kind of repeat themselves, right? It's like the same things are going on. It's greed. It's power. It's love, and it's forgiveness. And I think that's one thing: no matter where you're from, everyone's been through something. Everyone has made mistakes. Everyone wants something. Everyone fears something. So, all of those things are similar, no matter where the show's context happened.”

In the Singapore leg, Woods will rejoin Jason Arrow (Alexander Hamilton), 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).

Rounding out its cast are Claire Abaijah-Griffin, Curtis Angus, Kyla Bartholomeusz, Taylor Broadard, Aniya Danée, Lachlan Dearing, Winston Hillyer, Indigo Hunt, Marcus John, Julian Kuo, Iosefa Laga’aia, Ashton Lash, HaNy Lee, Trevor Miles, Eliza Ohman, Callan Purcell, Joshua Rivera, Wesley Ryan, Emmy Saheki, Terrance Spencer, and Dayton Tavares.

Based on Ron Chernow’s biographical account of Hamilton, the musical also features direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire.

"Hamilton," which won Tony, Grammy, and Olivier awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and a special citation from the Kennedy Center Honors, boasts songs many young people have memorized by heart, such as "Alexander Hamilton," "My Shot," The Schuyler Sisters," "Satisfied," "The Room Where it Happens," and "Burn."

“Hamilton” opened on Broadway in 2015 and has profoundly impacted various cultures, politics, and education beyond the U.S. Before its first international tour, the show has played across the U.S., London, Australia, Germany, and New Zealand.

“Hamilton” in Singapore is produced by Jeffrey Seller and Michael Cassel Group and presented by Base Entertainment Asia.

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