Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Hamilton in Chicago, Part 2

If you're anything like me, you're just a wee bit obsessed with Hamilton. I don't blame you.

Back in November my mom and I went to see Hamilton in Chicago, and this past weekend I went to see it again, this time with my oldest son and with my BFF Becky and her husband Sean, who flew in from Baltimore for the day. You might remember Becky from such blog posts as Our Whirlwind Hamilton Tour of New York and The Millard Fillmore Presidential Library.

I wrote a post about my first viewing of Hamilton here. This time, most of the cast members were the same, and my impressions of them were pretty much the same, too, so I won't rehash. There were two changes, though: This time Angelica was played by understudy Aubin Wise instead of Karen Olivo. Becky was bummed because she'd really wanted to see Karen Olivo in the role, but I thought Aubin Wise held her own and did an excellent job.

The other major change was that Wayne Brady played Aaron Burr. I'd known this in advance because it was kind of big news when his casting was announced. I've always liked Brady on Whose Line is it Anyway? and, frankly, I think he's hilarious. I'd never seen him in anything more serious, though, and I wondered how he'd do in a role like Burr.

In five words: Wayne Brady Stole the Show. From the moment he opened his mouth, he was phenomenal.

In a way, he was almost too good. I don't want to say Wayne Brady's Burr overshadowed Miguel Cervantes' Hamilton, but...he did. More than ever before, I wanted to say, "It's okay, Aaron Burr! I forgive you! Forget about Alexander Hamilton. Please, just sing some more!" That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it was surprising and left me feeling a bit uneasy...though in a good way.

If you haven't seen Hamilton yet and have a chance to catch it in Chicago while Brady is performing (through April 9), do it! Easier said than done, I know, but it's well worth a try.

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