Hi everyone! Today I’m sharing my Hamilton musical review with you! This is the second time I’ve seen Hamilton and it was just as amazing as I remembered! I did a review the first time I saw Hamilton so you can read it if you’d like, and I’ll add additional things I noticed in this one.
I had bought these tickets over a year ago as it’s still pretty popular although it has gotten easier to see it. My tickets were on the orchestra level but they were obstructed view so they were quite a bit cheaper than most tickets on that level. The musical is in the same theatre, however it does have a new name. Now it is the CIBC Theatre, previously named the PrivateBank Theatre.
As you can see the seats were super close to the front but all the way on the end of the row. I really didn’t mind and it was still amazing! I had bought two tickets as I had a friend who had said she wanted to go and I figured that if she wasn’t able to make it then I could always find someone else to go along. Luckily she was able to go and absolutely loved it!
Most of the cast was the same as who I saw last year, although it was a different Burr, Peggy/Maria, Angelica, and a few other roles and ensemble members. I didn’t enjoy Burr so much in the first act but the second was much better. Peggy/Maria was really good too but I wasn’t blown away by her performance. As for Angelica, I had previously seen Karen Olivo in the role so I didn’t think that I would be too impressed but Montego Glover was amazing. Fun story, I actually met Montego Glover at the stage door after the show! I also met Gregory Treco who is A. Burr and Alexander Gemigani who is King George III. They were all three so kind and sweet with their fans.
So my overall thoughts were that the performance was amazing! Not only was the music great, but the acting and dancing was good too. I was most blown away by Eliza (Ari Afsar) again, just as I was the first time I saw the musical. I also loved Jonathan Kirkland as George Washington. His voice is just amazing and so powerful. In every scene he commanded it with a strong presence, just as a real president should. And of course, the amazing Miguel Cervantes as Alexander Hamilton who performed flawlessly. Ah, and I shouldn’t forget King George III who is always an audience favorite.
I already mentioned how much I liked Angelica and I did enjoy her performance a lot even though I didn’t expect to. Her performance was more of what I had expected the first time, more restrained, and I do love both experiences.
I also mentioned about how I didn’t enjoy Burr’s performance but it’s not because he was bad or anything. Honestly it was because of the sound. I thought he was extremely good as Burr but I felt like I could barely hear him sometimes. His voice wasn’t set as loud as the others and it did affect the show. But his acting was impeccable, especially during “Wait for It”, “The Room Where It Happens”, and “The Election of 1800”. A lot of the cast was affected by the sound where it wouldn’t pick up the first word or two of the line when they entered. Since I was six rows back and know the words very well, I didn’t feel like I lost out on anything, and I could even hear them most of the time anyway, but it was disappointing.
The impression I left with was that the characters were more comfortable performing the second act then the first. I thought the acting was phenomenal and got better and better as the musical went on. The performance is also much simpler in the second half in terms of staging I feel as there isn’t as much complicated dance scenes.
Sitting all the way at the end of the row did mean that I missed what was happening on one end of the stage but it wasn’t bad at all. Most of the action does take place either at the front of the stage or closer to the center. The most annoying part of it was if an actor was standing and was blocking my view of the characters that were being highlighted. For example, there was an actor who blocked my view of Alexander when he first stepped out so I didn’t experience that the way others did, as my first view of A. Ham. But it worked out in my favor when George Washington comes out as I got to see him before everyone else did when he first came out and turned to take the sword off the wall.
Sitting so close to the stage did mean that I sacrificed seeing the lighting on the floor as I had the first time but I really enjoyed getting to see the actors so close and really watching their facial expressions. But some of the lighting does tie in perfectly with the story. For example, in “The Room Where It Happens” there are squares of light surrounding Hamilton, Jefferson, and Madison, indicating that the three are “in the room”. But Burr, who is singing about not being in the room, doesn’t get a square. A small detail to miss, but one that I do love. But so many characters have important moments at the front of the stage, and I was able to see so many of them very closely which was amazing.
One thing I though was great was that a sign was added to caption the performance for those attending. I didn’t really notice it during the performance as my eyes were glued to the stage but it’s so nice to see how inclusive they want to be.
Another great thing that’s been added is the security. I think I mentioned this before but Broadway in Chicago has started mandatory bag searches in the past few shows. My friend and I arrived at the theatre early and we were in among the first in line (which was great for when we got to the merch booth). Since we were inside we got to hear the announcement (I normally arrive too late for that actually as I’m normally off exploring or getting lunch) and they did say it was mandatory. I don’t think that anyone would complain as I think safety is a concern on everyone’s minds, especially when considering how many people are packed into the theatre.
And last by not least, I am happy to say I didn’t go too crazy at the merch booth. I bought a program book for the Chicago cast (there was a Broadway version but I already have the Hamiltome so I didn’t want that one), a mug, and a magnet! I also later got a soda that came in a souvenir cup. I almost went back for a Schuyler sister’s shirt but I didn’t think I was ever going to wear it and the clothing was pretty expensive. I don’t wear t-shirts or hoodies so I didn’t want to buy them and have them sit in my closet unworn.
And that’s my review and thoughts on Hamilton! It is a sort of “part two” and not really a full review as I feel that a lot of what I thought I’d already touched on before. I still believe this musical is one of the most amazing pieces of art I’ve ever seen and I am kinda thinking I need to start looking for tickets for a third visit. I am so extremely grateful that Hamilton came to Chicago and hope it stays forever!
Thanks for reading!
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