“Hamilton” Chicago is the best show in town, but you still might have questions. We have the answers, and they’re all the same.
If I’ve Never Listened to the Soundtrack or Seen Anything Relating to the Show. Will Hamilton Chicago Exceed the Hype? Yes.
Not only will this show exceed the hype, but if you fall in this category you are one of the lucky ones. Every song will be a surprise, and you won’t see the twists and turns that await. It must be like experiencing the lunar landing for the first time.
This hip-hop musical, which won 11 Tony Awards, covers the life of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, known in the play as the “$10 founding father without a father.” Lin-Manuel Miranda, the genius behind the music and story, was inspired to turn Hamilton’s life into a musical after reading a biography of the founder of our financial system. Seeing that Hamilton was an immigrant who used his words to get himself out of poverty and into prosperity, it immediately made Miranda link Hamilton’s story with that of the many iconic rappers of our time. With the use of rap and a diverse cast playing many of of our revolutionary heroes, “Hamilton” is not only successful in making audiences care about revolutionary America, but it shows us how very little has changed in our country when it comes to politics. There has been nothing like this show, and you’ll realize it after the first song.
If I’ve Listened to the Soundtrack Every Day Since it Came Out. Will Hamilton Chicago Exceed My Expectations? Yes.
The music and lyrics play the largest part in the show, but every time you listen to the soundtrack there is a massive hole missing in the interpretation of the play. Andy Blankenbuehler’s choreography and David Korins’ design lift the story and the music to heights you couldn’t think possible. Songs that you might glance over like “Hurricane” hold a new meaning and become unforgettable when you watch the dancers create beautiful chaos around a still Hamilton. The turntable stage allows for innovative storytelling.
As far as the cast, it’ll take the first song for your ear to adjust to not hearing Manuel’s, Leslie Odom’s, or Renée Elise Goldsberry’s voices. However, once you do you’ll realize the immense talent in the cast. The large amount of knee-slapping humor is something those who have only listened to the soundtrack will find surprising. The one song omitted from the soundtrack is a must-see. In addition, certain appearances and actions that aren’t sung are such an integral part of the show that it’ll lead to new discussions for days after seeing it. The nuances in portraying Hercules Mulligan and James Madison make the characters three dimensional. Miguel Cervantes perfectly portrays Hamilton’s genius, charisma, and stubbornness. Ari Afsar captures Eliza Hamilton’s sweetness and pain. Chris Lee, who is still in college, is a surprise and delight coming off as a Broadway veteran in his interpretation of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. This cast is not the original Broadway cast but it is a host in itself. You will still sing along, laugh, and cry like you do listening but you’ll notice the differences and appreciate them.
I Saw the Original Broadway Production with the Original Cast. Do I Need to See Hamilton Chicago? Yes.
First, how lucky are you? Second, the great thing about theater is seeing how differently roles can be interpreted even if the lyrics, melody, and staging stay the same. Miranda has almost become synonymous with Hamilton, but, as a friend who saw the original cast explained, Miranda’s Hamilton is from Washington Heights, and Cervantes’ Hamilton feels like he’s from the Bronx. Cervantes plays the main character with a harder edge, and if you thought it impossible he plays him even more determined. There’s nothing like Miranda’s tone when he is rapping, but you’ll love hearing Cervantes sing.
As far as Aaron Burr, you will leave the show asking yourself if you just witnessed the same Wayne Brady you’ve seen on television. Brady’s voice is powerful and he perfectly captures Burr’s egomania. Unfortunately, his last performance will be April 9. Daniel Breaker will be taking over April 11, but with both Brady and Joshua Henry, who originated the role in Chicago, beating expectations don’t be surprised by another home run with Breaker.
How to Get Tickets
If you don’t already have tickets and don’t want to give up your first-born child to get tickets on the re-sale market, your best bet for getting tickets is entering the lottery. There are 44 seats reserved for lottery winners every performance. There is a two-ticket limit per lottery entry, and if you win each ticket is $10. Some have been entering the lottery every day since it opened and have yet to win and others have won on their first try. Furthermore, even if a performance is sold out standby tickets are available two hours before showtime, but be prepared to stand in line for a long time.
“Hamilton” Chicago is running at the The PrivateBank Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., until Jan. 7, 2018. To enter the lottery visit lottery.broadwaydirect.com/show/hamilton-chicago. For tickets and other information visit broadwayinchicago.com/show/hamilton-an-american-musical.