Broadway’s “Hamilton,” the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and winner of 11 Tony Awards shot into town on June 18 for a three-week run at Kansas City’s Music Hall Theatre after nearly 18 months of anticipation and scrambling to secure tickets to the acclaimed production.
“Hamilton,” based on the life, legacy, and ambition of American pioneer statesman, Alexander Hamilton, chronicles his life in America; his blind ambition to rise in power and stature; his successes; his fidelity, and his demise. Laid out in a spectacular display from start to finish, the
musical that features rap music, a strikingly integrated cast, a re-look at America’s history, and a narration that offers a different perspective than history books reveal.
The book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton” sets a new standard for Broadway shows with the magnificent staging; outstanding choreography; beautiful lighting; richly textured costumes; stunning sets; clear sound; a mix of hip-hop, jazz, acrobatic, and ballet dance moves. Throughout the show, action on stage continues to flow with constant movement and changes that keeps the audience’s eyes roving and refocusing as each scene progresses. With the constant changes and movement of actors, lighting, the turn-table stage, and props, set changes just flow without distraction or hesitation.
Two national tours (named Angelica and Philip) are traveling throughout the USA currently. The tour in Kansas City (Philip) next travels to Memphis. Other nearby stops include Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Omaha. Those who miss “Hamilton” locally, may be able to secure tickets in nearby markets. Each stop appears to be about three weeks. The Angelica tour’s closest stop to Kansas City is St. Louis in May 2020.
Heading into the 2016 Tony Awards, “Hamilton” earned 16 nominations, capturing 11, including Best Musical, Best Actor, Best Featured Actor, Best Score, Best Choreography, Best Book and more. With its stunning story and presentation, “Hamilton” shot to the top of most popular show on Broadway and remains a top draw with ticket prices out of reach for many. Some Kansas City tickets were more than $400 each. A recent look at after-market prices showed single tickets for higher amounts.
Limited tickets to some performances remain available through Ticket-Master and nightly lottery for 37-seats for $10 each through the touring company, according to American Theatre Guild. American Theatre Guild does not have tickets available, but they do not know what the daily box office might have.
Those fortunate enough to see this production will be amazed at the vocal delivery of all the characters, the dance, and the entire production. This national tour sets a higher bar for tours. Other national tours regularly play in Kansas City, yet none measure to the precision of “Hamilton.” Seeing the show on Broadway or London’s West End could be any more superior than this company of performers and technical staff.
Standout performances come from the characters of Alexander Hamilton (Joseph Morales), Aaron Burr (Nic Walker), George Washington (Marcus Choi), Angelica Schuyler (Ta’Rae Campbell), King George (Jon Patrick Walker) , Thomas Jefferson (Kyle Scatliffe) and Eliza Hamilton (Erin Clemons). Even though none are local performers, their talent could land them in starring roles on Broadway.
Expect to be shocked from start to finish with the electricity from “Hamilton.” Excitement, enthusiasm, and power radiated throughout the Music
Hall as auditorium doors opened. Seating was steady as most everyone entered and seated before curtain time. The show generally starts five minutes late to accommodate those last-minute arrivals, but before 7:30 the orchestra level filled all seats. When lights began to dim, the audience
burst into applause before the downbeat. Kansas Citians cheered for the show before the “Turn off your cell phones” announcement greeted the audience.
Secure tickets to “Hamilton” when you can. This is the type of show that will never play well in regional or community theatre. The show is far too complex from all standpoints. “Hamilton,” like other blockbuster shows, overflows with parts that cannot be reproduced on a smaller scale. Without the grandeur of the costumes, dance, acrobatics, the voices, the moving set, the show would lose the magic of its appeal.
Tags: “Hamilton” review, Kansas City Theatre, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment, Theatre League, Broadway Across America, Sabates Eye Center Kansas City Broadway Series