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  • Writer's pictureBen Hicks

Hamilton Returns to Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio - Lin Manuel Miranda’s Broadway masterpiece Hamilton has returned to Downtown Cincinnati. The 2016 Tony Award winner for Best Musical is back at the nationally renowned Aronoff Center for 32 shows this September and October.

The soundtrack and choreography, which explore the tumultuous life of the underrecognized Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, premiered on Broadway on August 6, 2015 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City. Hamilton was met with widespread critical acclaim and record box office sales.

According to Miranda, the inspiration for the musical stems from Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography on Hamilton’s life. Hamilton’s life can be greatly contrasted from those of his fellow founding fathers. Born into poverty in the West Indies, Hamilton fought his whole career to inhibit power, which he used to eventually be considered the “Father of the American Economy.”

Hamilton, both with its original Broadway cast, and the current national touring cast, which is currently at the Aronoff Center, is comprised of a primarily minority cast, and blends the spice of soul, jazz, and hip-hop, with traditional show tune sounds, a new idea of Broadway, which captivated American audiences, even to the surprise of its own cast. Daveed Diggs, who premiered the role of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson said, “I thought he [Miranda] was crazy. A musical about Alexander Hamilton? This won’t work.” Yet it did, and now the show is making its third national tour, and its second stop in the Queen City.

The cast of the Cincinnati show, which opened on the night of September 6, and leaves town for Columbus on the 2nd of October, is headlined by Edred Utomi and Josh Tower. Utomi, who was motivated to enter show business by Miranda’s first musical In The Heights, plays the male lead of Alexander Hamilton. He has held this position in other tours of the show since January of 2019, and has previously portrayed Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.

Tower, who was involved in the early workshops for Hamilton, plays Aaron Burr. Burr is portrayed as a very serious politician, countering Hamilton’s eccentric personality. These two act as the main protagonists until their mortal 1804 duel which concludes the play.

Zoe Jensen, who plays the female lead of Eliza Hamilton, Alexander’s wife, has a multitude of prior Broadway experiences, including with Dear Evan Hansen, the 2017 winner of Best Musical. Eliza’s role provides much of the human emotion in a play dominated by seemingly monotonous politicians.

The headliners are surrounded by a great team of understudies, production staff, and musicians, who all work tirelessly to ensure a great production for Cincinnati theater fanatics for 26 consecutive days.

Aaron Spjut (11) enjoyed his viewing experience of Hamilton last week, despite his seating arrangements, saying, “It was a bodacious experience. Miranda’s plays are amazing, however my seats were so far from the stage, it was essentially like listening to the recording.”

Whether seated in the front row or the back, attending a live performance gifts the audience with the magic of lighting, natural sounds, and choreography that is otherwise not appreciated through a recording or soundtrack.

You can see Hamilton at the Aronoff Center from now through October 2nd.

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