JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Broadway is coming to Jacksonville.
From March 17 through March 29, “Hamilton” will be performed at the Times-Union Center’s Moran Theater. The musical will be performed daily on Tuesdays through Sundays and will be performed twice a day on the weekends.
“Hamilton” is a musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda that first opened on Broadway in 2015. The musical is finally coming to Jacksonville on the second level of its national tour, utilizing the size of the Moran Theater.
“The way they do it is they pick all of the theaters in the country that are roughly the same size that their floor and their lights will fit on and they’ll do a national tour once,” said Candace Dickens, fan of “Hamilton” and Jacksonville University student with an interest in set design. “Then they’ll do a second national tour and typically they go to the next size down.”
It is a musical about the life and death of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States of America.
“I think Lin-Manuel Miranda brilliantly took a historical figure and told his story in an inventive and new manner,” said Dennis Stouse, professor of communication at Jacksonville University, via an email interview.
“Hamilton” is the story about an immigrant playing an important role at the time of the birth of the nation.
Alexander Hamilton was born out of wedlock in the West Indies and immigrated to America to study. He then became George Washington’s right-hand man and the nation’s first Secretary of Treasury.
According to an article by USA Today, “Hamilton” sold out for months after release and won 11 Tony Awards.
“It’s probably one of the most complete, put-together productions that I’ve been to and I’ve been to quite a few,” said Dickens.
Hamilton sets itself apart from traditional Broadway musicals by incorporating an eclectic score of hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and show tunes.
“I love the music because it’s interesting,” said Julie Brannon, professor and chair of the English division of humanities at JU, via an email interview. “It’s different than any musical I had heard before.”
The musical styling isn’t the only thing that sets “Hamilton” apart from past Broadway productions.
Lin-Manuel Miranda recruited a racially diverse cast to play the founding fathers. Miranda, a man of Puerto Rican descent, played Alexander Hamilton himself on Broadway.
“It’s huge,” wrote Brannon. “Broadway has traditionally been unwelcoming to performers of color, and it also makes history a little more relevant to today. People of color have been part of American history since the beginning and so much of what we learn in school erases that. This casting performs an interesting translation of that history for modern audiences.”
This new and unorthodox production is tailored to the long-time musical fans and those new to theater. Stouse believes students would be interested in attending.
“Students would like this musical because it uses music they are familiar with in an innovative way to tell an interesting story that they may not know much about,” Stouse wrote. “Students who think Broadway musicals are old fashioned will be surprised how current Hamilton is.”