Tony, Grammy, Olivier, and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Hamilton has captivated audiences from Broadway to Abu Dhabi. What's the secret behind its mesmerizing charm? Join us as we uncover the magic through the eyes of those who bring it to life.
In the world of musical theater, there are shows that entertain, and then there are shows that captivate on a level so profound they become a cultural phenomenon. Hamilton is unequivocally the latter. This Tony, Grammy, Olivier, and Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, blending hip-hop, jazz, R&B, and Broadway styles, is a theatrical revolution that has transcended borders and resonated with audiences worldwide. As it graces the stage at Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, Hamilton marks a significant milestone — it's only the second-ever musical to be showcased in the city, reflecting a burgeoning movement to enrich Abu Dhabi and the UAE with more diverse and vibrant theater experiences.
But Hamilton isn’t just any musical; it's a global phenomenon that has consistently captivated audiences with its vibrant storytelling and innovative approach to history. Take, for example, my mother – a Lebanese woman with little knowledge of American history. Yet, she's totally obsessed with the production. The opening night in Etihad Arena marked her sixth time watching Hamilton, and she still begged me to play the soundtrack the entire car ride back home. Her fascination is a testament to the show's universal appeal. It's a story of struggle, ambition, love, and betrayal, elements that resonate with everyone, irrespective of their cultural or historical background. This is the magic of Hamilton – it's not just a musical about American history; it's a narrative of human experience, told through a lens that is innovative, invigorating, and addictive.
Savoir Flair sat down with some of the cast members to discuss what it is about Hamilton that captivates audiences worldwide and keeps them coming back for more.
This is the magic of Hamilton – it's not just a musical about American history; it's a narrative of HUMAN EXPERIENCE, told through a lens that is innovative, invigorating, and addictive.
Akina Edmonds, who plays Angelica Schuyler, eloquently pointed out that the essence of Hamilton lies not in its depiction of American history, but in its portrayal of the human experience. "The American history is just a vehicle for the show," she explained. The narrative delves into the complexities of human nature, showcasing “how we can succeed and build incredible things and still be flawed, and make a mess, and still find some sort of success in that…and make history.” History which, she notes, is “not always the best, but history is history.” In Hamilton, the story goes beyond the typical heroic biopic where the narrative is filled with triumphs and glory and the hero saves the world. Instead, it unflinchingly presents the complexities, the flaws, and the messiness that accompany the pursuit of great ambitions.
Jacob Guzman, who plays John Laurens and Philip Hamilton, added, “And it’s the music. The rapping was so quick sometimes that you missed parts of the story, so it was addicting because you wanted to come back and catch every part of it. I did the show for a year and at one point I was like, ‘Wait, he’s the founder of the New York Post?’ You know what I mean? There were so many things that just skipped over your head because there was so much going on. So you wanted to come back to catch all the words, and then when you learned all the words, you wanted to go back to sing along.”
Delving deeper into the characters of Hamilton, we asked the cast members if they could ask their respective characters a question, what would it be? The responses, infused with humor and curiosity, offered a delightful peek into the actors' minds and their interpretations of the iconic characters they portray. Elandrah Eramiha, who brilliantly plays both Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds, aside from her characters, couldn't help but wonder about one of the musical's pivotal moments. "I want to ask Eliza Hamilton why the hell she took him back! I just wanna sit her down and be like, okay, so why?” she said with a laugh.
Edmonds, reflecting on the emotional depth of her character, shared, "Mine would be, is it lonely in there? Because of what she had to look after and how she had to lead from behind and look after the family and the reputation of the family. I’d be like, you alright babe? Are you good? Do you need a hug?" Her playful yet poignant question highlights the unseen struggles and resilience of her character. Guzman, stepping into the shoes of Philip Hamilton, pondered a crucial moment in his character's story. "I would ask Philip Hamilton if he knew that George Eacker was going to shoot him, would he have shot him back?” he wondered, despite his father’s instructions not to.
And addressing a 'what if' that likely resonates with many fans of Hamilton, DeAundre Woods shared his hypothetical question for Aaron Burr. “If you knew how successful this show would be, would you still shoot Hamilton?” he posed, playfully adding, “He’d say, hell yeah.”
Whether you're a history buff, a music enthusiast, or simply in search of exceptional entertainment, Hamilton in Abu Dhabi is an event not to be missed. The show's unique combination of historical narrative, powerful music, and dynamic performance promises an unforgettable experience. If you haven't yet had the chance to witness this theatrical masterpiece, consider this your sign. Make your way to Etihad Arena to see for yourself why Hamilton has become the sensation it is, while there's still time.