Not Throwing Away My Shot: A Review of Hamilton At The Pantages


Picture by Shruthi Kumar

By Shruthi Kumar, Assistant Editor

In the words of the great Lin-Manuel Miranda, “It’s time to take your shot” — to see the Touring Broadway Cast of Hamilton!

Hamilton: An American Musical is a broadway production written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Earlier last year, the beloved musical performance began a tour around the nation.

The musical centers around Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant who built himself up from a man with no position or power to one responsible for forming and running our nation’s financial system. The musical integrates people of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities to play our nation’s founding fathers, including historical figures like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Angelica Schuyler, and more! The musical itself combines complex rap and hip-hop beats to convey the emotions and historical happenings.

I went to go see Hamilton at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, and although it wasn’t the original Broadway cast, I still cried. The opening number set off a loud round of applause, and it was clear even in the beginning that everyone shined in their own way. Michael Luwoye, Hamilton for the night, had stunning and sharp vocals, and clearly dominated the field. His counterpart, Solaya, who plays his wife and main love interest, Eliza Hamilton, absolutely astounded everyone with her voice. She was able to convey the magnitude of her emotions in all of her songs. With this ability, she surprisingly made everyone sob over a cheating husband in her rendition of ‘Burn,’ despite the fact that he’s been dead for over 200 years.

I was a little miffed that I wasn’t able to see Emmy Raver Lampman as Angelica, the oldest Schuyler Sister, because the actress’ contract expired earlier that month. But, I must say, seeing Sabrina Sloan play the role was definitely worth it. Her version of ‘Satisfied’ was excellent, and the audience was able to see the mournful emotions of a sister losing her one love. One could feel the elements of sacrifice, which I’m sure must have made Lin-Manuel Miranda very proud.

The double cast roles went off without a hitch, but definitely one of the stars in the shadows is Rory O’Malley. Rory O’Malley plays the eccentric King George III, who unquestionably made the crowd howl with laughter during all of his songs. O’Malley undoubtedly took elements from Jonathan Groff, who played the role during the original shows, but O’Malley added twists of his own. I wasn’t complaining, it was absolutely excellent.

One of the most important parts of the show is the chemistry between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, Hamilton’s friend, enemy, and eventually his killer.  Luwoye and Joshua Henry, the actor for Aaron Burr, perfectly conveyed the friendship that turned sour. Henry’s solos, ‘Wait for It’ and ‘The Room Where It Happens,’ weaved a spell over the audience as he captured all of our hearts with his voice.

Yes, I was crying by the end of it (I started crying during ‘Blow Us All Away’) and I definitely recommend seeing Hamilton. It educates both the younger and the older generations, and it’s a worthwhile history lesson.