‘Hamilton’: A unique & daring proposal
The musical continues to shine at Bellas Artes in Santurce
By Jannette Rivera Melecio
Special to The Star
One week after arriving on the island, the musical “Hamilton,” with its Angelica cast, continues to establish itself at Luis A. Ferré Center for the Performing Arts (Bellas Artes) in Santurce with an audience that has supported this second opportunity following the show’s successful tour in 2019.
The main theme of the play, centered around the life of Alexander Hamilton, masterfully portrayed by Edred Utomi, presents an immigrant, orphaned and poor, who perseveres to become the right-hand man of George Washington in the Revolutionary War and later a founding father of the United States.
The magic of the musical, created by Puerto Rican playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda and inspired by Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography, lies in the precision of the elements that merge to create a unique experience.
Prior to the start of the play, the atmosphere begins to seep into the audience, who enter a room that allows them to immerse themselves in the stage. The absence of a curtain allows the audience to delve into its corners, toward a massive wooden structure with stairs, intense red brick walls, yellow lights, shadow spaces, ropes descending from the ceiling and tied to the balcony handrails, and several wooden chairs.
Like clockwork, the play begins with the imposing figure of Aaron Burr, played by Josh Tower, in confusion questioning Hamilton’s success in life: “How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished, in squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?”
It is through the words of a killer that the haunting crescendo of this journey begins, revealing the motivations that influence the characters’ decisions during a period spanning from 1776 to 1804.
The characters of the Schuyler sisters, Eliza and Angelica, portrayed by Alysha Deslorieux and Stephanie Umoh, respectively, captivate with simplicity. Their dialogues and complicity convincingly portray the choices made when true love is involved. They also provide a new perspective on the concept of loyalty and women’s role in the progress of societies.
Audiences will be delighted with a perfect blend of drama, romance, comedy and tragedy as the lives of a character and a nation are woven together, accompanied by innovative music that breaks away from traditional Broadway styles by blending hip-hop, jazz, R&B and other rhythms. Additionally, a group of voices dressed in white and cream dance and move around the characters like unreal, imaginary, or fantastical figures that either distance themselves from or confront the characters on a mobile stage that highlights the passage of time.
“Hamilton” is a universal story about immigrants, human rights, revolution and more. It is a reflection on “who lives, who dies, who tells your story.”
The musical continues its performances through Sunday, June 25. Tickets can be purchased through ticketera.com.