Best Seat In The House: Hamilton
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The 11-time Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton is on stage now at the Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s Auditorium Theatre.
When Hamilton was last in Rochester back in 2019, it nearly sold out a three-week run. After having a second run at RBTL postponed due to the pandemic, it is back this season as a special engagement. News10NBC’s Emily Putnam spoke with one of the show’s stars about why she thinks it has been such a massive success, and the messages she hopes people take away from it.
”Hamilton paints this picture in a beautiful way of how America was founded through the eyes of America now,” says actor Nikisha Williams who plays leading lady Eliza Hamilton. ”I think that not a lot of people were expecting to love a musical about the Founding Fathers, you know specifically Alexander Hamilton because he was not talked about a lot, at least in my history books it wasn’t a poignant chapter.”
And yet, crowds at the Auditorium Theatre have been loving the hit musical. The three-hour production created by Lin-Manuel Miranda is jam-packed with spectacular movement, wordplay, rhymes, and rap battles, and it doesn’t shy away from challenging conversations.
”We do talk about George Washington and him owning slaves,” says Williams. “We talk about infidelity and, you know, we talk about just some of the harder subjects of… who the Founding Fathers really were.”
Among the themes Williams hopes audiences take away from the show is diversity, saying “we are seeing these Black and Brown and Asian-American people playing these roles that are not in real life those people, and I think it gives you a sense of this is where America was heading.” She adds with a smile ”I just love looking out in the audience and seeing little girls who look like me dressed in Eliza costumes, and I think that that just sets the stage of… if this person can do this and be on the stage doing this, then I can do whatever is passionate and in my heart to do.”
The beloved hip-hop musical shines a spotlight on the parallels between the past and the present.
”It gives you a sense of this is why America was started, it was because we were trying to break free from constrictions from our past… and I think that that narrative is a through line for how we are right now,” says Williams. ”I really hope that people get a sense of the ability to …we can change. We can be the change that we want to see.”
Hamilton is on stage through Sunday, November 13th. Click here for more information on the show and to purchase tickets.