One of the most anticipated musicals to come to Australia in the past five years has announced a diverse cast that represents backgrounds from around the world.
- Jason Arrow will play the lead role of Alexander Hamilton
- Director Thomas Kail says the level of talent in the Sydney production rivals Broadway and the West End
- Hamilton has won Tony, Grammy and Olivier Awards as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Hamilton will premiere at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre next March with a 35-person cast that includes three performers of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.
Shaka Cook, who will play Hercules Mulligan, is from the Pilbara. Torres Strait Islander Tainga Savage is in the ensemble, along with standby Callan Purcell, a Wiradjuri man.
Other backgrounds represented in the cast include Samoan, Maori, Filipino, Jamaican, South African, Nigerian, Egyptian, Japanese and Italian.
The cast diversity is one of the shining lights of the production, according to director Thomas Kail.
“I have been deeply impressed by the exceptionally talented and diverse candidates from all over Australia and New Zealand,” he said.
“The level of talent that will play in Sydney is first-rate — rivalling both Broadway and the West End.”
Hamilton premiered on Broadway in New York City in August 2015 to wide critical acclaim.
The show has won Tony, Grammy, and Olivier Awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
The musical tells the story of the formation of the United States, as well as the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of the country’s founding fathers.
Jason Arrow as Alexander Hamilton
Jason Arrow, who was in the Australia production of Disney’s Aladdin, will play the lead role.
Hamilton’s writer and composer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, was heavily involved in the cast selection for the Australian production.
“While theatres around the world have been forced to temporarily shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken this time to bring together a truly incredible ensemble to tell this story,” he said.
Lyndon Watts is Aaron Burr
Other notable performers in the cast include Lyndon Watts, who will play the other star role of Aaron Burr.
Watts was an understudy in Aladdin and played the role of Bernardo in West Side Story.
Chloe Zuel is Eliza
Chloe Zuel, who performed the national anthem before this year’s NRL grand final, will play the role of Alexander’s wife, Eliza.
A feature of the production is the “doubling” of roles for actors, where they play two roles in different parts of the story. Elandra Eramiha will play both Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds, while Victory Ndukwe plays Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, Shaka Cook stars as Hercules Mulligan and James Madison, and Marty Alix plays John Laurens and Philip Hamilton.
Australian audiences should expect plenty of energy on the stage, according to choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler.
“I think we’re going to be pushing things to new heights with the exciting company that’s been assembled in Australia,” he said.
The show will premiere on Wednesday, March 17, next year.
Tickets for the performances are currently on sale.
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