Not Throwing Away Your Shot, ‘Hamilton’ in Miami

Around once again is the classic-become-cult musical about a rapping Founding Father, Hamilton. First having its current run at the Arsht Center in Miami, the production will head slightly up the coast to the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach for a run in April. Just in case you don’t get a chance to see it this month, the hit show will still be in South Florida next month. It was my first time seeing the raved-about show, and it’s evident why it’s already held so dearly to those who love theater: the songs are great, the diversity is integral, and the production value is remarkably high.

Regarded as a groundbreaking musical, ever since its initial run on Broadway in 2015, truly tries to embody a story in which an unsung hero of the American Revolution gets his final moments in the world, by the world singing his name. For what it is, the musical features catchy tunes that are sure to leave the audience humming and singing as they leave the theater. The staging itself was more or less static in the Miami iteration, except for a rotating platform in the center of the stage. The practical effects from having these spinning circles in the middle of songs and choreography was pretty incredible. I saw a similar staging technique in Hadestown last season at the Arsht; it works wonders. 

Stephanie Jae Park, Ta_Rea Campbell, Paige Smallwood – HAMILTON National Tour – (c) Joan Marcus 2021

Unfortunately, the accompanying photos are not of the current cast in Miami, but each character’s actor gave it everything they had. That was clear. From Alexander Hamilton (Blaine Alden Krauss) himself to Aaron Burr (Deon’te Goodman), I was impressed with the breath control and prowess these artists demonstrated as they rapped and danced around the stage in such rigid looking outfits, although they did look stylish as anything I’ve seen with velvet textures. King George III (Paul Louis Lessard) had the audience in tears, which was great to hear. I particularly enjoyed the performance of Thomas Jefferson (Jared Howelton). This is not to diminish the performances of Eliza (Kendyl Sayuri Yokoyama), George Washington (Carvens Lissaint), Angelica (Lencia Kebede), and James Madison (Eddie Ortega), who rocked.

The strengths of the performances came from the passions of the actors portraying those historic characters. It’s clear that the cast has an immense amount of fun when they get the opportunity to perform this show, and they were by far the best part of the night. From catchy tunes to over-the-top crowd reactions and interactions, the cast only made the energy of the night grow as the story of Hamilton grew closer and closer to the inevitable end. In fact, his inevitable end has the lasting message of having a community of people tell your story after you’re gone. Here we are, watching Hamilton long after his death. His symbolic bullet into the sky killed not only him, but his son. Tragic, yet brilliant foreshadowing.

Company – HAMILTON National Tour -(c) Joan Marcus 2021

My main concern for this particular production was the audio component to some of the characters’ microphones. They simply needed to be turned up louder. At times, I had great difficulty understanding what the actors were saying, sometimes I had no clue at all, and I just had to piece it together through context clues. This could have been avoided if their levels were higher. That being said, I can’t wait to see it again, whenever I can.

Catch Hamilton now before it leaves the Arsht! Tickets here.

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