HAMILTON in Chicago - It's Back!
Updated: Sep 22
I must admit, I may have been more excited to see HAMILTON in Chicago the second time around.
By this point, the melodies are ingrained in our collective memories, and, even if you don’t know all the raps by heart, you probably know the cadence of them.
This musical hit the ground running when it initially made its way across US stages–and the momentum of its success has not seemed to slow. Those who saw it before are here again, and those who didn’t get the chance to snatch seats the first time are grinning like they have found Wonka’s golden ticket. While sitting in the Nederlander Theatre before the show begins, you can sense the excitement buzzing through the crowd.
Gazing with anticipation upon the wooden scaffolding and roping of the stage, it’s hard to imagine (if it is indeed your first time in the audience) how such a simple set design is the setting of one of the most popular pieces of contemporary musical theater. But…
Suddenly, the wooden structures slip and slide into new formations, and the floor itself rotates, all in a dizzying effect. As the characters weave in and out of view, a mosaic of constant movement is created; what was once quiet, is now alive. You are hit with a fast-paced tornado of storytelling that whips you up into the swirl and does not put you down until you leave your seat. In fact, every aspect of HAMILTON possesses the quality of a smooth hustle: from the elegant way the lyrics are tightly arranged and perfectly executed, to how the choreography imperceptibly and effectively reinforces each plot point by energetically matching the shifts in both action and emotion.
One of the tallest orders in a HAMILTON production is living up to an original cast that is dearly beloved. (Their voices still blast out over speakers across America.) But the Chicago cast of HAMILTON really stepped up to the plate. It was such a joy to witness each of them make interesting choices in their own unique and exciting performances–from Neil Haskell’s comically animated King George to Pierre Jean Gonzalez's ability to play into all the soft parts of Alexander Hamilton’s reflective moments.
Extra special to this particular show is catching new subtleties with each rewatch. Sometimes, I’ve realized I missed a bit of humor. Other times, it’s a historical fact, or the depth of some characters’ relationships. HAMILTON’s nuance is part of the reason others also keep coming back to witness it again and again and again…
Most can agree that this musical has become a prime example of how theater can both teach and entertain. It's smart, inspiring, and leaves you wondering how you never saw the connection between hip-hop and Alexander Hamilton before.
Good news for Chicagoans: It’s here until December 30th. For the schedule and pricing, you can visit broadwayinchicago.com. They also encourage everyone to keep an eye on the website, as well as official HAMILTON channels (@hamiltonmusical), for last-minute seating availability. The James M. Nederlander Theatre awaits your arrival!
Like Alexander Hamilton, don’t “throw away your shot” to see this well-renowned musical, whether it’s for the first, second, or third time.