HAMILTON at Aronoff Provides Extra Bits of Magic

Review by Grace Eichler, LCT

HAMILTON is here in Hamilton County! Running at the Aronoff Center September 6 – October 2, the #AngelicaTour brings the Pulitzer and Tony award winning production to Cincinnati. 

Let’s get this out in the open: this is not the same cast you can see on Disney+. They have different voices, different choices, and different hair. This IS, however, the same incredible concept, staging and choreography, brought to the masses. It’s a testament to Lin-Manuel Miranda and his original team of Thomas Kail (director), Alex Lacamoire (orchestrations/co-arranger), Andy Blankenbuehler (choreography) in how impactful and versatile these characters can be when given new identities.

If you’re wondering if it lives up to the proverbial shot, absolutely it does. Where the recorded version uses close up cameras to capture detail and different angles, this production was designed to be seen within the proscenium. Lights, set and choreography all emphasize the movement of the plot and provide extra bits of magic that you may not be able to catch when zoomed in.

Edred Utomi stars as the titular Alexander Hamilton, and is countered by Bryson Bruce as Aaron Burr. Bruce deviates the most from his Original Broadway Cast counterpart, showing a power hungry eagerness to achieve all that he feels entitled to. Utomi, on the other hand, evolves from an enthusiastic teen immigrant to a conscientious father. 

Supporting Utomi’s Hamilton are the Sons of Liberty: John Laurens (Jon Viktor Corpuz), Marquis de Lafayette (David Park), and Hercules Mulligan (Deejay Young). Again, very different actors than the OBC, but all give a different energy and interpretation that can surprise even the biggest superfan. 

While being a male-dominated show (and time in history), the female leads hold court. Angelica (Stephanie Umoh), Eliza (Zoe Jensen) and Peggy (Yana Perrault) Schuyler rotate focus as they spin on the stage’s turntables. Perrault’s Maria Reynolds contrasts sharply in Act 2, oozing sensuality while still being powerless. 

HAMILTON is undoubtedly a masterpiece. The fast paced score sweeps you away and the energy is undeniable. If you have seen it live, if you have seen it on TV, or even if you’ve never heard of it, you need to get into the room where it happens.

HAMILTON is presented by Broadway in Cincinnati at the Aronoff Center and runs September 6 – October 2. Get your tickets at https://www.cincinnatiarts.org/events/detail/hamilton-1