by Gina Alligood
Bass Concert Hall, Austin, Texas
We were in the room where it happened! After a 2-year hiatus in Austin, Lin Manuel’s Hamilton returned to their live production at University of Texas Bass Concert Hall to excited fans of all ages. Whether you’ve seen the smash hit many times, or you’re a newbie, this show does not disappoint.
The experience of the live performance was perhaps more spectacular than I had even been promised from online reviews. Lin Manuel Miranda packed a ton of historical events in a little over two hours while entertaining us.
How I wish this had been my history class growing up. How many audience members left in awe that we stand today as strong a nation as we are? In spite of our differences.
Of course Hamilton was center stage throughout the evening, but it was the Schuyler sisters who spoke to me: Eliza (Zoe Jensen), Peggy (Olivia Puckett), and Angelica (Stephanie Umoh). It’s clear as the story unfolds that Hamilton’s legacy might never have been if not for these women. Angelica is the oldest sister who sacrifices her own dreams to ensure Eliza marries first. Sadly, Eliza fell in love with the romantic man she thought he was, only to be left with unfathomable heartache.
There are 47 songs in the show and they all have meaning and trigger different emotions. The songs that stood out as most powerful included:
“The Schuyler Sisters”- sung by all three-“You want a revolution, I want a revelation. When I become Mrs. Jefferson, I’m going to compel him to include women in the sequel”.
“Burn” (Eliza)- Zoe Jensen drew me in completely. I felt every word. “I’m re-reading the letters you wrote to me. I’m searching and scanning for answers in every line. For some kind of sign. And when you were mine”.
“The World is Wide Enough”- is incredibly powerful and speaks to issues in our current society- hate and gun violence- the regret in Burr’s voice, “I should’ve known the world was wide enough for both Hamilton and me”.
“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” in the powerful finale when Eliza sings, it’s clear she’s forgiven Hamilton for how he affected her life- the loss of him, their son, the public humility- she lived 50 years longer and ensured his legacy and his place in history.
“And when my time is up, have I done enough? I live another fifty years, it’s not enough”. Every other founding father’s story gets told. Every other founding father gets to grow old.”
Getting back into the swing of indoor theater and entertainment is exciting and reminds of what we’ve lost and missed during the pandemic. We loved the standing O and the vibe of the crowd cheering for their favorite songs, performers, including our fave standout- King George.
Even if you’ve watched the amazing Hamilton video dozens of times, it truly must be seen in person to be fully appreciated.
About the show:
HAMILTON is the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, HAMILTON has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre—a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education. runs
When: Dec. 7 through 19, 2021
Where: Bass Concert Hall
Length: The show runs 2 hours, 30 minutes with one 15 minute intermission (seems shorter).
Notes: Masks are encouraged. The show starts at promptly 8:03 and you won’t be seated until after the first song if you’re late. Trust me, you don’t want to miss the opening.