At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29 at Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco Calif., packed auditorium buzzed in giddy anticipation for the “duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh” that would signify the beginning of the opening number of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash hit musical, “Hamilton”. With big shoes to fill as the understudies of the original Broadway cast members, the San Francisco “Hamilton” cast most certainly succeeded in “blowing us all away”.
Featuring a particularly impressive performance by Joshua Henry as Alexander Hamilton’s “frenemy” Aaron Burr, the musical not only lived up to but exceeded its already immensely high expectations. It is hard to pinpoint one specific spectacular aspect of the almost three-hour long show; from the ease with which Emmy Raver-Lampman surpassed octaves as Angelica Schuyler in “Satisfied”, a raw, tear-jerking performance by Solea Pfeiffer as Eliza Schuyler as she belted out “Burn”, or Mathenee Treco’s spot-on portrayal of the sex-driven, goofy Hercules Mulligan, the cast as a whole came together to bring to life Miranda’s carefully crafted rap, rhymes, and rhythms.
The show included the perfect amount of humor to balance out the substantial amount of heartbreak and death that riddles the plotline: Rory O’Malley’s brilliant performance as the sassy and arrogant King George provided comic relief amidst the unravelling of Hamilton’s marriage and loss of close friends and loved ones. With a two-story set that allowed for a considerable amount of movement throughout the stage, a spinning center that provided a “slow-mo” effect during duel scenes and other pivotal plot points, a perfectly coordinated ensemble and a seamless transition between scenes despite the quite literal “non-stop” nature of the musical, it is to see clear why “Hamilton” has been and continues to be such a success.
Limited numbers of tickets are on sale for shows now until Aug. 5, 2017. $10 “ham4ham” lottery tickets are also up for grabs on the daily. If you can find a way to get to the room where it happens, by all means, go. For musical lovers, rap connoisseurs, history nerds, and appreciators of good art alike, “Hamilton” is a must-see.