The Impact of Hamilton at The Aronoff


The playbill for Hamilton.

The lights start to dim. The air feels cool on your skin. Nothing compares to the feeling you are having. Sitting on the soft cloth of the Aronoff’s seats, you cannot help but feel nervous about what’s coming. 

It’s here! After two years after the Broadway series announced it would bring Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton to Cincinnati! 

Elizabeth Truitt, Regional Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Broadway in Cincinnati, said “What better way to end our season of Broadway returning to Cincinnati than with a return of such a beloved hit musical? We are overjoyed to have Hamilton come to Cincinnati for a month and welcome theater lovers to celebrate the power of live theater.” 

One of the most diverse musicals on Broadway, the musical had an unexpectedly high rating. Alexander Hamilton, the country’s first Secretary of the Treasury, is the story’s main character. 

Hip-hop influence, as well as non-white actors playing characters from the Revolutionary War, such as George Washington, and the Marquis de Lafayette, are added to the mix to create a show that, on paper, was at best strange. This “color-conscious casting” is what some refer to as.

English teacher Megan McCormack said I think there’s always a bias for the original cast for the traveling cast, but Broadway actors are Broadway actors. They all are going to be good!” 

 Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton cast up-and-comers like Daveed Diggs(Marquis De Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson), Renée Elise Goldsberry(Angelica Schuyler), and Leslie Odom Jr.(Arron Burr), and re-imagined white historical figures with immensely talented actors who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color. This is, as some critics are now pointing out, the beloved musical’s biggest strength, and also its biggest challenge.

Crucial to this image was casting mainly actors of color to play white historical figures. This instantly transformed Hamilton from a dry history lesson into lavish, historical storytelling, about the American dream, and implicitly about the people of color who are so often left out of the narrative of that dream.

Hamilton is not only giving actors of color a chance to play roles that are usually unavailable to them but the opportunity to see history through a more relatable lens.