Theatre Review: “Hamilton” at Dr. Phillips Center

If you’ve ever wanted to be in “The Room Where It Happens,” now is the time! The global sensation Hamilton has arrived in Orlando, and is yet another heavy hitter in Dr. Phillips Center’s phenomenal season. As an avid Hamilton fan since its opening days on Broadway, I was thrilled to see the touring cast, and they absolutely nailed it.

The best word I have to describe Hamilton as a whole is “deliberate”. Every movement, every lighting shift, and even every breath had a reason. There were moments that brought me to tears, just based on the actors’ emphasis on words I hadn’t thought about before. I was caught up in the Hamilton craze during the early Broadway run, and thought I knew the show by heart. I was delighted to be proven wrong. Alexander Hamilton is brilliantly played by Edred Utomi, who truly made the role his own. His voice and characterization of Hamilton were so honest. Utomi also had excellent chemistry with the show’s Aaron Burr, Josh Tower. Both actors responded to each other beautifully, creating perfect character arcs for both men. Tower’s performance was truly a standout, both strong and sincere, especially in songs like “Dear Theodosia” and “The Room Where It Happens.” Each actor on stage brought everything to their performance. The honesty and grace in their storytelling was truly remarkable. They made it easy to follow even the fastest of rhymes and the most political terminology.

I am so grateful that I was able to see this amazing cast live. My biggest takeaway from Hamilton is that, no matter how many times you listen to a cast recording or watch filmed performances, there is magic in live theatre. Whether you’ve learned all of “My Shot” or just vaguely know the history of the Hamiltons, you’ll get something wonderful out of this production.

Hamilton is playing at the Dr. Phillips Center until November 18th.