Since Hamilton premiered Off-Broadway at the Public Theater on January 20, 2015, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical has become a juggernaut of the American theater. It later opened on Broadway, swept the Tony Awards, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, has toured the country and the world and has been made available to stream at home on Disney+. You have probably already seen Hamilton, listened to and memorized the soundtrack and have a go-to track from its iconic playlist for karaoke nights.
Now that Hamilton is opening the 2022-2023 Best of Broadway season at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center, should you go see it? Yes. Of course. Hamilton continues to amaze, as it did a packed house on Thursday night and undoubtedly will continue to during every single performance of its run through July 24.
If you’ve only watched the musical on Disney’s streaming platform, you owe it to yourself to be in the room where it happens. There’s no comparison to live theater, and seeing this show live and in living color is the way it was meant to be seen. The staging is electric, the energy infectious. The set and lighting design are award-winning for good reason.
And the performances are stellar. If you’re a Hamilton vet who has already seen the show on or off Broadway, you may still want to check out this most recent tour. Hamilton already has a long list of stellar actors who have embodied these now-iconic roles, and this cast is no exception. It’s amazing to see fresh faces breathe new life into such fantastically written characters.
Edred Utomi’s Alexander Hamilton is sharp, naturalistic, energetic and manages to make Miranda’s lyrically-exceptional songs actually sound like true hip-hop. Paul Oakley Stovall’s George Washington is a revelation. He’s not working towards gravitas: his imposing stature, conversational delivery, and aged timber provide a Washington that is writ as large as the man’s legacy. And those are just some highlights of an outstanding cast. Zoe Jensen’s Eliza is wonderful. Stephanie Umoh’s Angelica is powerful. David Park’s Lafayette and Jefferson are joyous. Peter Matthew Smith’s King George is a laugh riot. Josh Tower’s Burr brings new dimensions and style to the centerpiece character.
Catch more Best of Broadway shows
The rest of the Best of Broadway Season also includes Annie, Dear Evan Hansen, Aladdin, Jesus Christ Superstar and closes with The Book of Morman.
Annie runs October 28-30. Based on the popular Little Orphan Annie comic strips, the musical follows the titular redhead as she navigates a new life with a new family. The beloved Tony Award-winning musical features classic hits like “It’s the Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow.”
Dear Evan Hansen won the Tony Award for Best Musical at the 71st Tony Awards, and while the movie may have been a disappointment for many, the stage show has continued to play to impressed audiences for seven years. With the Broadway production closing this fall, there’s even more reason to catch this show while it’s in town November 22-27.
Disney has an extensive track record of successful theatrical adaptations of their beloved films. Aladdin can stand alongside The Little Mermaid, Frozen, and the award-winning The Lion King as one of Disney’s animated masterpieces that have successfully made the transition to the Great White Way. Fans of Aladdin and the Genie will want to make sure they get tickets to the run at the PAC from February 22-26, 2023.
Jesus Christ Superstar, the acclaimed and controversial musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. With a production out of London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, the show is staying relevant and evocative through cutting edge choreography and direction that secured this production the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival. If you’ve been a fan of JCS anytime in the last fifty years, mark March 10-12, 2023 on your calendar so you can fall in love all over again.
From the creators of South Park, The Book of Mormon took Broadway by storm when it debuted, and wracked up nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The hilarious story of two missionaries trying to change the world continues to be a laugh riot, and has already played to Charleston audiences once before. If you missed it back in 2017, you’ve got another chance to catch it May 5-7, 2023.
These are all incredible shows, but the season is kicking off with the biggest and the best. Hamilton continues to convert new fans seven years after its debut, with no end in sight. A packed audience, spanning every demographic and age, all simmered with the pulse of a crowd doing its best not to sing along. Standing ovations were given for individual songs. All unsurprising, considering they were seeing what is, perhaps without much debate, simply the greatest American musical of all time.
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