Jamael Westman and the company of Hamilton
Photo by Joan Marcus
By Nyla Arslanian
What could be better after more than a year and a half of no musical theatre or the joy of entering the always a spectacular treat Pantages Theatre lobby, than a long-awaited return of Lin-Manuel Miranda's
. Having seen it on it's first turn in Hollywood, I was caught by surprise by the familiarity of the audience with the play that was matched only by its exuberance. Their enthusiasm unmuffled although adhering to mask protocol.
From the initial entrance of
in his starring Hamilton role which was a show stopping welcome until the final scenes, the wonderful cast held the audience in the palm of their hands. Or, should I say, the audience held the play in theirs.
In a review of the audience, perhaps most outstanding was its youth and its diversity. Too often, the heads are tinged with grey (mine included), so experiencing a theatre filled to the brim with all that youthful energy both on stage and in the house is a joy. It makes one believe that YES there is a hunger for live and relevant performance.
I must confess that some of the cadence of the play's dialogue and lyrics fall on not deaf but obviously older ears, although missing words the action on stage held my rapt attention. Performances by the excellent ensemble cast were impeccable and the show's pace didn't lag even as the mood shifted in the second act. Again, it was a delight to notice that the audience didn't miss a beat, a nuance or a meaning and showed their appreciation countless times applauding and cheering during the show.
If you missed it the first time around, or, like me, wanted to see it again we're fortunate that Hamilton will be at the venerable Pantages Theatre for many months. But, don't wait, because you may want a repeat performance before it leaves town again.
Kudos to Nederlander's Broadway in Hollywood for their wonderful lineup of shows coming to its other venue, The Dolby Theatre at the opposite end of our world-famed boulevard. Beginning in October its schedule includes
My Fair Lady
The Band's Visit
The Simon & Garfunkle Story
Pretty Woman: The Musical
Hooray! Theatre is back in Hollywood.