Is phenomenal a word too strong?
I waited for 2 week before writing anything about Hamilton, but I still feel the excitement from 2 weeks ago. I see this musical not catering to all the tastes, but if you are living the 21st century life, this musical reflects it. Even though it is based on the real life facts of the Founding Father of the USA it feels very contemporary. The cast is diverse, the female characters are equally strong as male characters and well presented. Overall I had a fantastic experience and am rearranging my top 5 favourite musicals’ list.
The Victoria Palace is in the group of Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, covered in the first post.
The theatre opened in November 1910 with a variety performance and continued presenting variety until 1930s. In 1934 Victoria Palace presented Young England, melodrama that received such awful reviews that it ran for 278 performances before transferring to other West End theatres. At the end the World War II the theatre continued housing varieties. From 1947 The Crazy Gang comedy revues ran at the Victoria Palace for the next 15 years. From 1962 through 1972 the theatre hosted yet another light entertainment show The Black and White Minstrel Show – the stage version of the popular Saturday night BBC TV show. In the 1970-2010 period the Victoria Palace presented some hit musicals like Annie and Billy Elliot, as well as plays. In 2014, Delfont Mackintosh Group bought the theatre from Stephen Harry Waley-Cohen and closed it for refurbishment. The Victoria Palace opened in December 2017 with Hamilton.
The musical starts with Alexander Hamilton’s arrival in New York where he meets Aaron Burr, John Laurens, Hercules Mulligan, and the Marquis de Lafayette. They all get involved in the revolution against the British Empire. Hamilton gains George Washington’s trust and after the victory over the empire is appointed as Secretary of the Treasury. The musical shows Hamilton’s work in the cabinet, as well as his relationship with his wife, Eliza Schuyler and the famous affair with Maria Reynolds. After George Washington’s resignation, John Adams becomes the president and fires Hamilton. For the upcoming presidential elections Hamilton endorses his long-time opponent, Thomas Jefferson against his long-time friend, Aaron Burr. Burr challenges Hamilton to a duel, where Alexander suffers life threatening wounds and dies several hours later. The musical concludes with Eliza’s recollection of things she did to create a living memory of Alexander Hamilton.
The music, lyrics, and book for the musical were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Hamilton premiered at the Public Theatre in New York in February 2015. The show transferred to Broadway in August 2015. The West End production of Hamilton opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre in December 2017.
Director: Thomas Kail
Producers: Cameron Mackintosh, Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman
Hamilton had open auditions announced in January 2018 for one-year contract starting rehearsals from October. There might be new auditions coming next year as well. They have open auditions page for their Broadway and US National Tour.
Bought my ticket from official ticketmaster returns page. £89 for the middle seat in the 3rd row in the stalls. Excellent seat to be fully immersed in this breathtaking show. I was planning to see Hamilton by the end of my challenge, considering the facts that tickets sell out, and there is a long wait, and you have to book far ahead. But ticketsmaster also runs the returns page for the next 10 days, so I took my chance and bought a ticket couple of days before the show. It was also my birthday week, so what a treat! They only print the ticket at the entrance after they have scanned the card used for the purchase, so avoid the resellers that would be my advice.
Running time is 2 hours 45 minutes.
The Theatre Rat