After a year and a half of hiatus, Broadway Sacramento is back with a bang! Their 2021 season opened on Wednesday at the newly renovated SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center with the most revered play in recent memory –Hamilton. Guests were treated to a beautifully redesigned venue that includes updated sound and seating. Broadway World was able to experience the long-awaited opening and it was just as magical as a post-pandemic return should be!
I don’t think there are many people who haven’t heard of Hamilton. Certainly, all those who are interested in the theater know him. They will remember the wait for the original tour and the hours spent in line hoping to buy a ticket. I remember the excitement of driving in San Francisco and the electricity in the air when the curtain went up on the most spectacular spectacle I have ever seen. It has a similar feel as it is Broadway’s first tour of Sacramento and the first return to the theater for many.
Hamilton details the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s Founding Fathers. Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also wrote In the heights, Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards in 2017 and holds the record for most Tony nominations. It is still going strong, productions having resumed in several countries.
In the midst of the current division in our country, Hamilton seems particularly timely and the story resonates deeply, forcing us to really consider what’s going on and stressing the importance of a unified population. As citizens reunited in 1776 and 2001, we must do it again to move forward. Hamilton is also a reminder that we still have much to be proud of. America’s resilience, opportunity, and determination are unmatched.
As if all of the above weren’t enough, this tour (the “And Peggy” tour) has it all. Unparalleled voice, acting and dance, as well as outstanding performances from favorite numbers. Donald Webber, Jr., a loathsome whiny Aaron Burr (on purpose), delivers his best performance of the series with “The Room Where it Happens”. The powerful voice of Darnell Abraham worthy of a modern major general both mourns and celebrates his resignation as our country’s first president in “One Last Time”. The energetic Battle of “Yorktown” is always a choreographic and lyrical marvel. My favorite performance was “Satisfied” by Marja Harmon, detailing Angelica Schuyler’s first meeting with her sister’s husband, Alexander Hamilton.
Perhaps more importantly, those “And Peggy” people are DRLES. Alexander Hamilton of Julius Thomas III is young, enthusiastic, and playfully naive before transforming into a slightly more polished version of himself. He hilariously jokes with the equally comedic Jacob Burns Samuel Seabury about allegiance to King George in “Farmer Refuted.” Until this performance, it was my least favorite song on the series. After that, “You’ll Be Back” by King George (Rick Negron) is still an audience favorite. Something about telling Americans that he will kill their friends and family for their love always makes us laugh. Who would have guessed?
We should all absolutely “raise a glass to freedom” and head to “the room where this is happening” before Hamilton performs in Sacramento “one last time” on October 10th. Tickets and more information are available at www.broadwaysacramento.com, or by calling (916) 446-5880.
Photo credit: Joan Marcus