Hamilton opens at The Kennedy Center

Washington, DC - Everything you’ve heard about this hip-hop musical--Hamilton--is true. It boasts superlative acting, singing, dancing, costumes, directing, stagecraft, musical score and amazing performances (notably, Bryson Bruce who is double-cast as Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson). Through a fortuitous quirk of fate, I lucked into obtaining four $99 seats for the matinee June 17. How appropriate; a musical about our Founding Fathers on Father’s Day!

These really were the “cheap seats,” located several rows back in the second tier, but still well worth it. But here’s something that I’ve not heard anyone mention so far: this show is a tear-jerker. The real-life events chronicled in Act II will leave no one in the audience with a dry eye. No, it’s not (just) due to the fight-to-the-death duel between Alexander and his political rival Aaron Burr that will bring on the waterworks.  It’s the sensitivity of the performers who convey the emotions of the characters through the portrayal of the Hamilton-Burr duel, Hamilton’s oldest son’s duel, the affair with the Reynolds woman, and the relationship between Hamilton and his wife, Eliza Schuyler who lived on for 50 years after Hamilton’s death and founded the first public orphanage in New York City.

If you are lucky enough to attend, keep your ears tuned to catch an uproarious joke made right after the opening number which references Martha Washington’s name for her feral Tom Cat (she named it after Hamilton), and for King George’s “You’ll Be Back” which not only sounds as if it could have been covered by The Beatles (as noted by Peter Marks in his June 15 review for The Washington Post), but which could have been composed by them as well.

The production runs through Sept. 16 and for more information contact the Kennedy Center at 202-467-4600 or at

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