such_heights: eliza and alexander gazing at each other (h: eliza/alexander)
Amy ([personal profile] such_heights) wrote2016-06-29 04:27 pm
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In September, we fell in love with the cast album. In October, we bought tickets. 'Will we be sick of it by the end of June? Probably not.'

June rolls around, and no, not even a little. I went with [personal profile] happydork, [personal profile] purplefringe, [personal profile] raven, [personal profile] shinyjenni, [profile] twistedsoup and [personal profile] andrew, on the same night as [personal profile] oliviacirce, [personal profile] aria, [personal profile] starlady, [personal profile] were_duck, [personal profile] laceblade &c, which meant we got to all have slightly dazed dinner together beforehand, which was amazing.

By an astonishing twist of luck, the day we went was the day they were filming it, for archival and hopefully eventually distribution purposes (no one knows when the latter might be). So we had the entire original cast, even Jonathan Groff returning as King George for one night only and clearly having the time of his life. I was entirely ready to be excited about seeing different interpretations from understudies or new cast members, but that was pretty special.

It was such a gift to finally be able to see these characters that I've loved for months. The entire cast have so much extra going on in the staging. Daveed Diggs barely stopped moving throughout the show, Okieriete Onaodowan is desperately funny in two very different ways as Mulligan and Madison, Anthony Ramos is basically one big passionate bleeding heart. I got so much more from the Schuyler sisters as a trio - Renée Elise Goldsberry as the ultimate big sister, stepping aside but watching over everything; Jasmine Cephas Jones is so young and adorable as Peggy then transforms completely into Maria Reynolds. And Philippa Soo, omg. More on her later.

Chris Jackson is phenomenally charismatic, I basically couldn't take my eyes off Washington whenever he was on stage. His chemistry with Lin's Hamilton is fantastic - Meet Me Inside was so tense I forgot to breathe. Leslie Odom Jr should be showered in Tonys for the rest of his life. There were so many Burr moments that are painful on the recording -- being dismissed by Washington, basically the whole of The Room Where It Happens -- become even more heartbreaking thanks to Leslie's beautiful face. The way that both Burr and Hamilton transform through the show, from young friends to old, tired enemies is just terrible. MAKE IT UP GUYS, DON'T DO THIS. :(

Lin as Hamilton, oh boy. He just FEELS ALL THE FEELINGS ALL OF THE TIME. I know that feel, bro. He is quite literally hopping mad during the Cabinet Battles, utterly overwhelmed at everything to do with his son, and so desperately in love with Eliza even when he's doing the stupid thing. (Say No To This was amazing but hard to watch. The whole ensemble basically yells at him not to, and yet.)

Then there's Philippa Soo's performance as Eliza which just wrecked me. I basically cried every time she was on stage from That Would Be Enough onwards. She grows and changes so much throughout the show. She gets a little harder, loses a little innocence, but by the end she matches Washington for stature. Jefferson and Madison may go on to be President but here it almost doesn't matter. It was Eliza's story all along, and that's even clearer watching it live. I love her so much. <3

I wish I had the vocabulary to describe the choreography beyond IT WAS AWESOME. There were so many cool moments when the ensemble were all doing different things then suddenly brought together for one movement on the beat. They created space, absence, closeness. Hurricane was incredible as the lighting and the movement absolutely made a hurricane appear right on stage.

I don't even want to talk about Laurens and Phillip dying. No. Not okay.

By Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story I was a big sobbing mess. It's so powerful, watching Eliza become her own legacy. 'I live another fifty years. It's not enough.' *weeping*

One great thing was how much you get to see characters react to what's going on, things like Maria and Phillip reading the Reynolds Pamphlet or Burr watching the cabinet battles added so much extra texture to their characters.

It was wonderful, I loved every second. I can't wait to see it when it comes to London next year. \o/

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