Hamilton in Chicago

What it’s like to be in the Room Where it Happens


Zoë Donovan, Managing Editor

Hamilton tickets, not too long ago, were said to be nearly impossible to get your hands on. Recently however, as the original Broadway cast found new roles or branched to other musical or acting endeavors and more shows opened across the country, it has become much more accessible to people who can’t shell out hundreds of dollars for a three-hour performance. My family was able to snag tickets to one of these performances nearly a year ago to a matinee performance in early January of 2018.

For those who have managed to avoid contact with the musical in one way or another, Hamilton is a hip-hop musical following Alexander Hamilton through the revolutionary war, his time as Secretary of Treasury, his place at the center one of the first and one of the largest American Scandals, and the events leading to his ultimate death at the hands of vice president Aaron Burr.

The cast was impeccable. From the ensemble and minor characters to narration through Aaron Burr, as played by Gregory Treco, everyone was on point and fit the roles beautifully. Miguel Cervantes, the man who played Alexander Hamilton, has a stunning voice that captures the ideals and determination that people often associate with the founding father. ‘Hurricane,’ a song in the second act that is sung by Hamilton shedding even more light onto the hardships younger Hamilton faced in his life, requires a lot of talent when it comes to singing and vocal control. While all of the songs require vocal talent that most could never hope to achieve, ‘Hurricane’ in particular is challenging as it is not one that fits the tone of most of Hamilton’s songs, which are more hip-hop or rap focused.

Jose Ramos shifted from rambunctious and rebellious John Laurens into the adorable young Philip Hamilton in the second act seamlessly. As did Wallace Smith, in his shift from surly and gruff tailor turn spy Hercules Mulligan, into meek and sickly James Madison. Thought and precision went into both the work of all actors and the casting department, and it shows in such a lively and captivating performance, leaving viewers at intermission feeling jostled as they are no longer in the world of singing and dancing revolutionary war soldiers.

While Hamilton may no longer have performances by the original cast and it may no longer boast the same hype it did two years ago, it is nonetheless a performance worth seeing if the opportunity presents itself. I’ve heard before people say that shows aren’t worth seeing if not by the original cast. From what I’ve seen, I couldn’t disagree more. The Chicago Cast lived up to everything I ever imagined and went above and beyond in the performance. They were fantastic and work hard to perfect their roles.

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