Hennepin Theater Trust presents Hamilton – Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis MN – April 5th, 2023
Review by Amie Bresnahan
First and foremost…a huge Thank You goes out to Lin-Manuel Miranda for bringing musical theater into the 21st century! Modernizing the way in which we take in a story was everything I wanted it to be and so much more!
The set and stage appeared as a regular theater set up, that is until the action began. What I found new and exciting about the set is the way in which the scenes change, and the set moves. Every movement is intentional with every piece of the set woven into the movement of the cast and the scene. No stage or set handlers sneaking in and out of the scenes, which no matter how they are dressed just tend to interrupt the fluidity of the moment. I also mirror this sentiment with the costume design. The base of the costumes are simple and basic, allowing the addition of a coat or a skirt to move the scene from beer hall to wedding to battle field seamlessly and almost like magic. The only real change in costume came during intermission and to accurately reflect and convey a move through time.
The music is truly a standout. The songs are engaging and new, with a style so current weaving in hip hop, R&B, rap and pop. I understand why people say they listen to the soundtrack all the time. The songs tell the historical tale with the rhythm and melody of today all while being layered and built upon themselves throughout the show. It felt like we were both watching a story and enjoying a modern concert. The only thing I really felt missing was some audience engagement, I feel like the reserved theater setting left me wanting more excitement from the crowd as you would get in a live music venue. However, that said, the crowd’s cheers and enthusiasm was shown and erupted at the end of each song.
Choreography is something I typically do not review as it is what it is…but this was so much more! The movement of the cast brought us through time and space and back again. Using the circular rotating stage to layer the view was outstanding. The flashback scenes were executed with precision and something I have never seen before. Considering the size of the cast, at times it felt like there were double or triple the number of people on the stage due solely to the choreography itself.
This cast is next level amazing. Each character played flawlessly and with true passion. Edred Utomi embodied Alexander Hamilton perfectly. He is both engaging and passionate in his role. His musical talent is brilliant, and I felt like, dare I say, that he may pull off the music even better than Lin Manuel himself. King George embodied by Bryson Bruce, a true crowd favorite, is played fun and nasty and pouty in all the best ways. The Schuyler sisters, Alysha Deslorieux, Stephanie Umoh, Yana Perrault, brilliantly play their roles of love and longing. George Washington, played by Carvens Lissaint, is bigger than life and commands true authority on stage. The remaining cast is just brilliant and hold their characters with true care. One thing that surprised me was the full cast bow at the end. It wasn’t your typical individual showcase of each performer getting their hierarchy of applause but a full crew holding hands and showing that they were in this together not as individuals but as a whole performance crew.
I leave you saying that I now understand the hype, the fandom, the obsession that Hamilton has created. I am a fan for life and look forward to seeing it many times in the future. It is worth the price of admission and every moment will leave a memory you will want to relive again and again. Bravo Hamilton, Bravo!
Running through May 6th click HERE for tickets.