A scene from a performance of Hamilton.

Rise up

The national tour of Hamilton makes its stop in Oklahoma City this spring.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton: An American Musical tells the story of a man that history almost forgot.

Alexander Hamilton, an American Revolution-era immigrant, self-taught scholar and the first Secretary of Treasury, died in a duel with Aaron Burr, a political rival, foe and future vice president.

The musical explores the intertwined history of these two figures and unpacks how their careers, lives, and legacies became stories of the immigrant experience, the founding of America and a deeply personal account of one man’s rising and his undoing. 

When it debuted in 2016, Hamilton became an overnight phenomenon that had audiences flocking to New York City. It soon became the most expensive ticket on Broadway. “Hamilmania,” the frenzy surrounding this show, quickly spread. Hamilton was all anyone talked about when it debuted and tickets became a commodity unlike anything ever seen in the theatre world. After a sweep at the Tony Awards, a much-anticipated national tour followed in 2017 with two simultaneous casts touring the country. The first leg of the tour stopped in Oklahoma City in 2019. The tour swings back through the Civic Center May 24 through June 4 with an all-new cast filling the roles.

“I’m excited for audiences to experience this story again or for the first time” Nikisha Williams, who plays Eliza Hamilton, said. “I’ve been touring with the show since 2018, and I’ve been the full-time Eliza since August 2022. I started out performing as an ensemble member, and I also worked as an understudy for the sister roles. I left the show after the pandemic, but as soon as I left, I was asked to come back and portray Eliza. It was such a surprise to me. It has been a dream come true to land this role.” 

“This tour features a completely different cast from the last tour stop in 2019. There’s a whole new experience and energy to this cast that is completely unique. Even if you have seen it, or if you’ve watched it on Disney Plus, you’ll still want to come see the show live. Audiences can see these characters, and although they’re familiar, we are portraying them in a whole new light. It’s going to be so fun and exciting. Audiences are in for a treat,” she said. 

“It’s important to tell Eliza’s story because, as Alexander Hamilton’s wife, she’s the reason we know his story today. Eliza sought biographers to keep Alexander’s legacy alive after his death. It’s important that people see how much this woman accomplished in this period in history. We often talk about the founding fathers. But not as much is said about the women in history. The women were always in the background, but they contributed just as much to the development of our country,” Williams said. “I recently had an audience member tell me that it’s just called Hamilton because it’s about Alexander and Eliza Hamilton. It’s her story just as much as his. Hamilton is a name that’s never been known prior to this musical about his life. And without the work Eliza did, we wouldn’t know him at all.” 

“I think I love playing Eliza because I see myself in her. Eliza shares my personality in so many ways. She’s someone who knows what she wants, but she’s not as boisterous or forthright as her sisters. She’s a planner, like me. Every night when I’m performing, I see different facets of myself in her. Eliza has goals of her own that she wants to accomplish, but she’s also focused on being a support system for others,” she said.

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A scene from a performance of Hamilton.

A standout moment for Williams occurs late in the show, with the second act’s solo performance of the song “Burn.” The rest of the show is high-energy and heavily influenced by rap and R&B. Eliza’s solo number is a rare ballad in the show. 

“Performing ‘Burn’ is when I get the opportunity to just be present. I can sit down and focus. I get to tell this important story through quiet and stillness. Throughout the rest of the performance, I’m running around all over the stage. It can become tiring. I really look forward to this moment. If I had to pick one song that I love to perform, it’s definitely ‘Burn’ for me,” she said. 

Alexander Hamilton had more enemies than friends in politics. An illicit affair and the loss of his son in a duel tainted his reputation and ensured his place in history as a flawed, yet truly American hero. 

Hamilton is made for and by modern theatregoers and it’s a love letter to live theatrical performance. Featuring diverse casting, modernized costumes, and music that you’d find on Top 40 radio, it’s a masterpiece that is complex, overwhelming and packs a surprise at every turn. The only way to see it (legally) is in New York or on the tour, and the parking is much better in Oklahoma City.  

Tickets, which are expected to sell quickly and are limited to eight per person, are available through the official site.

Visit okcbroadway.com

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