Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"Hamilton" at the Kennedy Center

It is always a challenge to revisit a show you saw before. I had the great joy of seeing "Hamilton" early in it's Broadway run. A different cast, a different theater, it's a bit like seeing a movie adaptation of a favorite book in that you have to expect some things will be different.  The Kennedy Center run is a long one so, the cast and crew get to settle in for a bit, but it is still a replica of a thing.  It will look and sound like the thing, there were still cheers and gasps in places where a visual gag took something to the next level or a moment of revelation came from combining the visual and the sound together.  
All of this is to say, my friend and I saw it Thursday night.  The cast was wonderful, the set was wonderful, if you came for a "Hamilton" experience, you got one.  Certain cast members made different choices.  Dan Belnavis' George Washington was less warm but stern leader that Chris Jackson had been, or as I put it to my friend - stern daddy Washington.  My friend preferred Sabrina Sloan's Eliza (which is heresy, but certainly she was wonderful).  Bryson Bruce handled the speed of Lafayette/Jefferson well, but I confess there was some diction lost to me in "Guns and Ships".  Nicolas Christopher's Burr seemed a little off pace in the first act, but handled "The Room Where it Happens" (and all the rest of the second act) with energy and charm.  And those cast members I haven't mentioned were all wonderful too, this is not a situation where anyone was awful, just little things that are often only noticeable when performing in an extremely well known property. 
One of the things that was clearer to me, watching this three years later is how much the cast is on stage, even when you often think they aren't. Partly this is the immersion of "Hamilton" into the pop culture such that I now know by color which dress is for which character.  
If you have somehow managed to remain unspoiled on "Hamilton", the hip-hop/pop music tale of a founding father, the touring cast will definitely entertain you.  And it's a wonderful chance to see it again for others.  
I'm thankful I got another chance to see this show.