Hamilton – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

WOW! The roar of the cannons and the explosion of dueling pistols signal the arrival and demise of America’s statesman of the moment, the singular sensation Alexander Hamilton. Center stage at Hartford’s Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, “Hamilton,” that epic musical crafted by Lin-Manuel Miranda, will be historically honored until Sunday, December 30.

Clearly the most anticipated show of recent record, “Hamilton” follows the fate of a poor bastard orphan with Scottish blood from the Caribbean who comes to the land of opportunity, America, to become the right hand man for the first President George Washington.

Austin Scott’s Hamilton manages to rise from poverty with a goal of making a difference, of becoming a man of significance, a scholar, a lawyer, a statesman, a man who defiantly believes “I am not throwing away my shot.” Early on in America, he meets and is befriended by Josh Tower’s Aaron Burr, a man who soon exhibits signs of jealousy, trapped by a competition he knows he cannot win.

As a Founding Father along side Washington (Paul Oakley Stovall) Thomas Jefferson (Bryson Bruce) and James Madison (Chaundre Hall-Broomfield), Hamilton is quickly swept up in a revolution against Britain’s King George (Peter Matthew Smith), helping to plan the siege of Yorktown. He finds time to marry Eliza Schuyler (Hannah Cruz), often choosing his dedication to his country over his family.

As a co-author of the Federalist Papers and his selection as Secretary of the Treasury to the new nation, he engages in an affair that will later be used as ammunition to bring down his star. His ideas incur the wrath of many of his cohorts and ultimately lead to his death in a duel with Aaron Burr. This historical epic will cement Alexander Hamilton’s importance in the story of our heritage, originally taken from a novel penned by Ron Chernow that Miranda read while on vacation in the Caribbean in 2004, on his honeymoon.

Incorporating hip hop, rhythm and blues, Broadway show tunes and soul, “Hamilton” enjoys a grand set created by David Korins, period costumes designed by Paul Tazewell, illumination by Howell Binkley, sound mastered by Nevin Steinberg, orchestration by Alex Lacamoire, clever choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and superb direction by Thomas Kail. “Hamilton” has won an impressive number of awards: Grammys, Tonys, Drama Desk and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

A ticket lottery for $10 is held every day for 40 lucky recipients. Go to http://hamilton musical.com/lottery to register. Also check bushnell.com regularly for late release seats. Try to be one of the 66,000 patrons who will see this production at the Bushnell over its 3 week run. It is not a show to be missed. Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.,Friday at 8 p.m.,Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Come be caught up in the dramatic magic of the tale that weaves our country’s history in the fate of one Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton.