hamilton musical toronto

This is what Hamilton is like in Toronto

The smash Broadway hit musical Hamilton has officially arrived in Toronto, and you definitely don't want to throw away your shot at seeing it. 

The Hamilton touring cast performed their first preview show Tuesday night before blowing the crowd away at the Ed Mirvish Theatre on opening night Wednesday, and to say the two-hour and 45-minute performance exceeded all my expectations would be an understatement. 

The Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who worked alongside George Washington throughout and after the Revolutionary War

And while that may sound a little dry, Hamilton combines fascinating history with a variety of musical styles, including (but not limited to) rap and hip-hop, as well as a wonderfully diverse cast. 

Yes, America's Founding Fathers are portrayed solely by black, Latinx and Asian actors in this show — and that's precisely the point.

In the words of creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton is the story of America then, told by America now. It also highlights the fact that the U.S. has always relied on immigrants to "get the job done," as a line from the song Non-Stop states in a wonderfully pointful way. 

The show tells the story of Hamilton's life from beginning to end — from the moment he steps off a ship in New York in 1776 until his eventual downfall and so many tumultuous events in between. 

The touring cast of Hamilton brings the same calibre of performance to the stage as the original Broadway cast, which will likely be a relief to Toronto audiences since so many of us have literally been waiting years to see it. 

Alexander Hamilton (Joseph Morales) is as passionate and intense as Miranda's version of the role, Aaron Burr's (Jared Dixon) voice is smooth and seamless, and Eliza Hamilton (Stephanie Jae Park) will break your heart with her emotional and powerful rendition of Burn

But just as the show will likely move you to tears at times, it's also sure to make you laugh. Warren Egypt Franklin's over-the-top portrayal of Thomas Jefferson is nothing shy of hilarious, and King George's (Neil Haskell) repeated appearances are welcome comedic relief. 

A rotating stage creates endlessly interesting visuals and the talented ensemble dancers are always in the background, yet somehow command your attention at all times. 

But if you don't trust my opinion, trust last night's crowd that instantly lept to their feet to give the cast a standing ovation. 

Or trust some of the other audience members who simply can't say enough good things about the cultural phenomenon that is Hamilton. 

"Just saw #Hamilton on its opening night in Toronto," one Twitter user wrote yesterday. "I've been singing along to these songs since the musical came out, and let me tell you, I'm speechless and out of tears after seeing it live. Thank you, @Lin_Manuel. You're a damn genius."

"Wow. What a show. What a cast. What a journey," CP24 anchor Bill Coulter wrote on Twitter after last night's performance.

"So glad I didn't 'lose my shot' to be transported back in time and thrown into a theatrical revolution dipped deeply in the well of powerful poetry and hip hop brilliance."

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