Review: 'Hamilton' Continues to Amaze in Revisit to Providence

by Will Demers

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Sunday December 5, 2021

A photo from the first National tour of "Hamilton."
A photo from the first National tour of "Hamilton."  

Never has there been a more appropriate time to bring "Hamilton" back to our state, and, indeed, to a National Tour. It isn't just that it's an amazing show, filled with dazzling choreography and a contemporary musical vibe; but also, it's a work of incredibly diverse origins. And that's where the message lies. Lin-Manuel Miranda (playwright, actor, composer, producer, singer and director) was inspired to tell the story of America's founders after reading Ron Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton," and sought to cast non-white actors to tell the story. 

The musical was a sensation from its start, when it premiered at New York Public Theater in February, 2015. It moved to Broadway the following August. In 2016 it was nominated for 16 Tony awards and won 11. Since then (save for its recent closure during the pandemic), the show has consistently been the highest-grossing Broadway show, and was released as a film (directed by Spike Lee) exclusively for Disney+ last year. Miranda won the Tony for his book and score, but lost the Best Musical Actor to co-star Leslie Odum, Jr., who played Aaron Burr. Here, the title role is brought to vibrant life by actor Pierre Jean Gonzalez. An LBGTQ+ activist and producer in his own right, he had been on standby for no less than three main characters and was finally offered the role in March of 2020.

Things happening the way they did, Gonzalez would have to wait more than a year to make his debut as Alexander Hamilton. But in August of this year, he kicked off the National tour in Atlanta, Georgia. His supporting cast absolutely does not disappoint. Marcus Choi (George Washington,) Stephanie Jae Park (Eliza Hamiton,) Jared Dixon (Aaron Burr), and Elizah Malcomb (John Laurens/Philip Hamilton) are all splendid here. But both Warren Egypt Franklin as Thomas Jefferson/Marquis de Lafayette and Neil Haskell as King George are both so electric you simply cannot take your eyes off them.

As is the company cast, the choreography is so intricate and woven through each number. The show itself offers a wealth of striking visuals and memorable musical pieces. One would imagine that a show that is sung, as well as rapped, through would be difficult to follow, but this cast drives each point home beautifully. PPAC's resident director Tiffany Nichole Green re-creates the original Tony-award winning direction of Thomas Rail and choreography of Andy Blankenbuehler.

It has long been said that one must see this show, and this tour highlights its appeal. Its themes of love, betrayal, political intrigue, and tragedy are timeless. And has a beautifully diverse cast of characters who are brought to life with great eloquence in this tour.


"Hamilton" is currently running through December 12th at The Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) 220 Weybosset Street, Providence RI 02903. For information or tickets call 401-421-2787 or visit www.ppacri.org.