By Jackson Riley
Don't throw away your shot to see one of the finest spectacles of modern times - Hamilton is currently in a sit-down run at the PrivateBank Theatre in Chicago. Hamilton is everything you want in an evening of entertainment - it makes you laugh, cry, think, discover, understand, and question. Fine performances and impeccable tech are the icing on the theatrical cake.
Hamilton joins the likes of Wicked and Book of Mormon in getting an open-ended run in the Windy City - something reserved exclusively for Broadway's biggest hits. However, Mormon's ten month run pales in comparison to Hamilton's - which is already selling tickets through September 2017, and something tells me that Wicked's incredible four-year run may soon be dwarfed by the Schuyler Sisters. Hamilton, though Broadway in budget, has Chicago in its heart. It is edgy, provocative, diverse, imperfect - and something you won't soon forget.
Miguel Cervantes fails to steal the show as the title role - he gives a solid, reserved performance that one can only assume intentionally side-steps the over-the-top boyish charm that Lin Manuel-Miranda is known for. Joshua Henry as Aaron Burr is magnificent, turning in one of the best performances Chicago has seen in years. The material does favor Burr, making it clear why Leslie Odom Jr. took home the Tony over Miranda last summer.
Karen Olivo steals every moment she is in, anchoring her costars with a vocal maturity and elegant flair. Ari Afsar plays Eliza quietly but beautifully. At first I was unsure of some of her choices, but then I realized that she was simply planting seeds for through lines of the play and, by the ending, she had me weeping. The supporting cast and ensemble are excellent - an energetic and sexy group of performers that seem to be endlessly talented. The scenic designs and score will leave you breathless.
Believe the hype. Hamilton is taking the world by storm for good reason. The fact that Chicago is lucky enough to have Joshua Henry is enough reason to drop the cash for a ticket alone. History is happening and we just happen to live in the greatest city in the world...
Hamilton opened October 19th, 2016 at the PrivateBank Theatre in Chicago. More information: http://www.broadwayinchicago.com/