Hamilton Comes to Arsht Center
The Broadway hit musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton through a blend of hip-hop, rap and R&B
Broadway’s hit musical “Hamilton” by playwright Lin Manuel-Miranda is coming to Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. The show’s won a whopping 11 Tony awards, a Grammy, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama but among its biggest achievements is the way it has united audiences across the nation in its inventive telling of the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. A celebration of the crucial role immigrants played in the founding of our country, “Hamilton” is described as “the story of America then, as told by America now” and is illustrated through a diverse cast and an addictive score that blends hip-hop, rap, and R&B.
The significance of bringing the show to a cultural melting pot like Miami isn’t lost on Josh Tower, who plays the character of Hamilton’s friend and rival, Aaron Burr.
“I know there are many immigrants in Miami,” Tower says. “People seem to put the ‘founding fathers’ in a special place in their psyche, but they indeed were not from here; they were, in fact, immigrants…Our amazing country is comprised of a weave of so many beautiful cultures, religions, and immigrants from one generation to the next. A true fabric…One of the things that I’ve always loved about this show and its many companies is that there is no ‘prescribed look’…There are very few shows that can boast that. Looks-wise, we reflect the audience and they reflect us — a rainbow of colors and cultures like the U.S.”
Edred Utomi, who plays the lead role of Alexander Hamilton, agrees. “This is a story for all people,” says Utomi. “I hope [Miami] audiences will be able to see themselves in the story.”
The son of Nigerian immigrants himself, Utomi – who grew up in Las Vegas before moving to San Diego – stressed just how important the message behind Hamilton is to him. “This show means everything to me,” he says. “This story is the story of my parents. People who came here with little and made so much with what they were given. It’s truly inspiring and I’m thankful I get to tell this story every night.”
Tower, likewise, feels a personal connection to the story based on his background. Adopted and of mixed decent (his biological mother was a “white brit”, his father, African-American), Tower helped originate the role of George Washington in an early workshop of Hamilton before its world premiere, but he always had his heart set on playing Burr – a dream that has now come true.
“I do relate to Burr a lot,” Tower muses. “He’s a fighter, like me, even though he was born with the pedigree for success. He’s quick. Thorough. Eloquent. Fastidious. Studied. A father. A husband. A veteran…like me.”
Utomi admits he’s never been to Miami before, but is excited for audiences in the Magic City to experience the show live. “I like the fact that we get to bring the show to people’s homes,” Utomi says. “I like the idea that people get to go to work knowing that at the end of the day they get to come see the show. It’s like dessert.”
Tower has nothing but praise for Miami, and cites touring and getting the opportunity to experience the very best art, food, and sights of each city he visits with the show as “priceless.”
“I think Miami, with its amazing multi-cultural, immigrant, American, Latino, international, sexy, artistic, beautiful community, will eat this up,” he says. “And on a side note, [I hope] one of those beautiful people will tell me who has the BEST Mojitos in town!”
Hamilton will be playing at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts from February 18-March 15, 2020. For more information, click here.
Lauren Cohen was born and raised in Miami Beach and graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s degree in Motion Pictures. She has been writing about film since 2009, with her movie reviews and features appearing regularly in Examiner.com and Miami Beach News, among others. She’s interviewed some of the most recognizable faces in the film industry, including Daniel Craig, Emma Stone, Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Javier Bardem. An avid supporter of the arts, Lauren also works with the Miami Film Festival to promote the best of world cinema to the Miami community.