Standing outside the Star Casino at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre, Producer Michael Cassel introduced the four-time Tony Award® winner and original producer of Hamilton on Broadway, Jeffrey Seller. In a Covid-safe media call, Cassel and Seller were reflected amongst the silhouettes of the show’s characters as they discussed all things Hamilton and Australia’s success with the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Seller began by appropriating one of Hamilton’s opening lines, “In Sydney, you can be a new man,” then continuing by announcing that, “this production will stand as a rebirth of theatre, not just in Australia, but all over the world.” Seller swiftly followed by introducing just some of the principal cast of Australia’s Hamilton, Jason Arrow as Alexander Hamilton, Lyndon Watts as Aaron Burr, Chloe Zuel as Eliza Hamilton, Akina Edmonds as Angelica Schuyler, and Elandrah Eramiha as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds.
Arrow quickly began to thank Sydney and express how much of an honour it was to be opening Hamilton this coming Saturday, “It’s amazing to be back on stage.” Watts added, “The experience is sacred and we’re just filled with profound appreciation to get to be a part of it. There is definite pressure to create your own version of this show and try to forget the popularity surrounding it. So we take every opportunity to be vulnerable and bring our own skills to it.”
One of the most significant factors that makes this production of Hamilton such a moment in history, is that it will be the only production playing in the world. “The opportunity is incredibly moving,” Arrow admits, “So the stakes are incredibly high.” Edmonds added that, “All eyes are on Sydney at the moment. So, we’ve learnt to be a team so as not to feel the pressure. We have the utmost confidence in the venue, the theatre and the producers to keep everyone safe.”
For the Australian cast, it still has not hit some that they are in the biggest production in Australia, or the world, at this moment in time. “We’re finally here,” Eramiha squirms with excitement, “I sometimes think I’m still in dreamland, I have to remind myself ‘I’m in Hamilton!”
Finally, the cast left audiences with a clear message, “Any audience is welcome and will be looked after, so when we look out and see everyone wearing masks, then that’s great. So, come with a mask!”
The rest of the principle cast of Hamilton is made up of Matu Ngaropo as George Washington, Victory Ndukwe as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, Shaka Cook as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, Marty Alix as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton, and Brent Hill as King George III.
They are joined by Kirrah Amosa, Daniel Assetta, Kyla Bartholomeusz, Isaac Bradley, Christopher Campbell, Olivia Carniato, Luca Dinardo, Keanu Gonzalez, Winston Hillyer, Jimmie “J.J.” Jeter, Julian Kuo, Iosefa Laga’aia, Stefan Lagoulis, Ashton Lash, Loredo Malcolm, Jayme Jo Massoud, James Maxfield, Callan Purcell, Zelia Rose, Tainga Savage,Jas Smith-Sua, Tigist Strode, Kim Taylor, Romina Villafranca and Zachary Webster completing the Australian company of 36 performers.
Hamilton premiered on Broadway in August 2015 to wide critical and audience acclaim. The Show has won Tony®, Grammy® and Olivier Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, Hamilton has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre – a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics and education.
With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical supervision and orchestration by Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography.
The Hamilton creative team previously collaborated on the 2008 Tony Award-winning Best Musical In the Heights. Scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPoint.
A filmed version of the original Broadway cast was released on Disney+ on 3 July 2020.
The Australian production of Hamilton is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman, The Public Theater and Michael Cassel.
The Australian premiere of Hamilton is supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
Written by Justin Clarke – As seen on Theatre People