Hamilton Brings the Magic of Lin-Manuel Miranda to Orange County, CA

HAMILTON And Peggy National Tour – Company5 – Photo by Joan Marcus

Hamilton is the hit sensation from Lin-Manuel Miranda that took the musical world by storm ever since it hit Broadway in 2015. It arrives at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, CA, for its current national tour. The crowd was enthusiastic and fans were giddy when certain characters and scenes popped up.

The musical follows the founding fathers of the United States of America, told by Americans now, and it shakes things up by featuring people of color portraying historical white men. Hamilton is compelling with its clever lyrics and catchy beats, and the performers bring life to the men and women of the past.

Hamilton features notable figures from U.S. history including Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, and King George. The story follows their journey of shaping the future of the United States while also showing them as people with shades of grey.

The presentation is topnotch, thanks to the lighting and sets, with direction by Thomas Kail. The lead performers and ensemble cast move gracefully and beautifully as they travel from one scene to the next. The live music and dancing flow thanks to the choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and music supervision by Alex Lacamoire. One such highlight features a duel where two men fire a weapon at each other. The choreography is impeccable thanks to the timing and movement of the performers and sets, creating a visual treat that enhances the story.

The actors with stellar performances include Brandon Louis Armstrong as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison and Jared Howelton as John Laurens due to their liveness, singing voice and stage presence. Paris Nix is having a blast as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, exuding charm and appeal. Darnell Abraham is no slouch as George Washington, who can command a room with his powerful, singing voice. Sadly, it’s hard to hear his words when he’s singing.

Rick Negron as King George is a delight as the despicable king of England who brings comedic relief as the founding fathers bickers amongst each other. Deandre Woods is solid as Alexander Hamilton, but he is outshined by the other cast members.

Marja Harmon as Angelica brings the fire. However, Morgan Anita Wood took some time to get used to as Eliza due to her singing style that made the lyrics hard to understand. In the second half of the show, her voice was able to settle in, and it was melodic and clearer.

Final Reaction

Hamilton comes to Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and it’s a captivating performance. When it hits, the music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda are enthralling. The opening night crowd was ecstatic, and there were a few who were singing and rapping along with the lyrics. Hamilton is a show that has to be seen live and in-person.

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