Who lives, who dies, who tells your story? Hamilton’s diverse cast lights up Manila

‘Hamilton’ brilliantly integrates classical theatrical songwriting with hip-hop, R&B, and rap.

The long-awaited moment has arrived. After 8 years since its Broadway premiere in 2015 and widespread artistic impact following its digital release on Disney Plus in 2020, Hamilton has finally landed in the Philippines. From September 17 to November 26, Filipinos have the extraordinary opportunity to immerse themselves in this critically acclaimed musical at Solaire in Parañaque City.

Hamilton invites us to appreciate the beauty and complexity of diversity, and to recognize that the ideals of liberty and justice are universal aspirations that bind us all together in the grand tapestry of history.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show’s inventive creator, introduced the exciting life of one of the USA’s founding fathers with his own contemporary ideology focused on diversity. Thanks to the original cast—Leslie Odom Jr. as the antagonist Aaron Burr, Philippa Soo as the wife Eliza Schuyler, Christopher Jackson as the charismatic leader of the rebellion George Washington, and Miranda as the titular character—the show became popular beyond Broadway or West End

The Southeast Asian showing of Hamilton features the touring international production of the show coming out of Australia. On the cast is Filipino Rachelle Ann Go who plays Eliza Schuyler,

Hamilton in Manila
Don’t throw away your shot at seeing Hamilton, running until November 26 at The Theatre at Solaire. Photos from Hamilton International Tour on Instagram.

In the realm of theater, exceptional productions don’t merely challenge conventions; they redefine the very essence of storytelling—Hamilton does just that.

From a young man belting My Shot with dreams of changing the world to a devoted woman supporting her husband’s dreams of a revolution, this musical transcends the boundaries of time and race, etching an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all who have the privilege to experience its magic.

Hamilton, Miranda—visionaries

Hamilton at Solaire
One of the most striking aspects of the musical’s casting choice is the portrayal of George Washington.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s brainchild catapults us into the tumultuous world of Alexander Hamilton, a visionary founding father and a turbulent character. In this epic saga, Miranda doesn’t just break the mold—he shatters it.The choice to cast actors of various ethnicities in roles of white people is not just an artistic license, it’s a profound statement about the universality of every human’s pursuit of honor, love, and legacy.

One of the most striking aspects of this casting choice is the portrayal of George Washington. The illustrious first President of the United States, a white man, is embodied by African-American actor Darnell Abraham in the international production.

Like in the Broadway show, this transformation challenges conventional perceptions of race and power, offering a fresh perspective on the founding figure. It reminds us that the ideals of liberty and equality belong to everyone, regardless of heritage.

“I believe that for every action is a reaction. We cannot ignore nor do we want to erase history. This show doesn’t do that,” Abraham said in a statement.

 On artistic liberties, he says, “We all know George Washington wasn’t a black man. Some people will get it, some people won’t get it, some people won’t want to get it. At the end of the day, that’s not my responsibility,” he added.

Another unforgettable performance in Hamilton is being delivered by Rachel Ann Go, who portrays Elizabeth Schuyler-Hamilton, a reminder of the strength and resilience of women in history. Her crystalline voice, reminiscent of a pristine gem, elevates the character’s emotional depth, leaving an indelible mark in the hearts of the audience.

“Ask yourself: ‘What is your calling? What is your purpose in life?’ We want people to come out of the theater and say: ‘What am I going to do in this world? What is my purpose in life?’” Go said in a previous statement. “Before, I was just thinking about: ‘Oh, I need to sing this song perfectly. I need to hit the right notes.’ Now, it’s not about that. It’s about telling the story. It’s about sharing what this musical is about,” she added.

Same, but a different Hamilton

Jason Arrow in Hamilton
For Arrow, this role goes beyond performance; it embodies a personal connection to resilience and ambition.

Jason Arrow, a remarkable talent, brings a unique perspective to his portrayal of the titular character Hamilton.

As an actor of indigenous Australian heritage, his presence on the stage clearly embodies the diversity and inclusivity at the heart of Hamilton. For Arrow, this role goes beyond performance; it embodies a personal connection to resilience and ambition, echoing his own journey and the stories of those often overlooked by history.

 “I’ve seen other Hamilton as well, and this one is so different,” Arrow said in a statement. “The show is the same, the movement is the same, the words are the same, the music is the same. But It can change fast depending on who is playing that role.”

As he steps into Hamilton’s shoes, he not only celebrates the character’s triumphs but also fills the role with a personal resonance, making it a testament to the enduring power of the American Dream. Through his performance, Arrow shines a spotlight on the richness of cultural diversity, showing that Hamilton’s legacy resonates with people from all walks of life, regardless of their background.

Diverse narrative

The cast of Hamilton truly enhances its diverse narrative. The ensemble seamlessly blends with each other and brings the American Revolution to life. Their collective energy and chemistry on stage reflect the harmonious diversity that makes America the great nation that it was.

Simply put, what makes Hamilton extra special is its ability to transcend time and place. The story of America’s birth is not just an American story, it is a universal one. Hamilton invites us all to relate ourselves with the characters, to connect with their struggles and triumphs, wherever we are in the world.

In a time like this, when diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of cultural discussions, Hamilton stands as a testament to the power of representation. It is a celebration of the fact that America’s strength lies in its people, drawn from every corner of the globe, each with a unique story to tell.

Hamilton invites us to listen to those stories, to appreciate the beauty and complexity of diversity, and to recognize that the ideals of liberty and justice are universal aspirations that bind us all together in the grand tapestry of history.

Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?

Just as Lin-Manuel Miranda and his extraordinary cast have reimagined America’s founding, we too can reshape the way our own stories are told.

The Broadway musical is running until November 26 at The Theatre at Solaire. GrabUnlimited subscribers now have the chance to watch the show with their points. There are two ticket categories available on GrabRewards: C-Reserve tickets: 21,600 GrabRewards points per ticket; and D-Reserve tickets: 16,200 GrabRewards points per ticket. Claimants will be receiving their e-tickets via their Grab-registered email on the Friday prior to the week of their chosen show date. The redemption period is until October 25 for shows happening from October 04 to October 31, 2023.

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