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Rousuck's Review: "Hamilton" at the Kennedy Center

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It's Thursday, and that means our theater critic, J. Wynn Rousuck,  joins us with her review of a little musical you might have heard of:  Hamilton. The popular show, now on stage at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., uses rap, hip-hop, R&B, and a variety of other musical styles to tell the story of the American Revolution through the lens of one its most charismatic and ill-fated architects.

Winner of 11 Tony Awards and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (among other honors), the musical by playwright, actor and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspired by Ron Chernow's best-selling 2005 biography of the founder, Alexander Hamilton.  Miranda's three-hour-long musical rendition premiered on Broadway in August 2015.

Featuring 46 songs and a racially and ethnically diverse cast, Hamilton recounts the story of Alexander Hamilton (played by Austin Scott), his rise to power as the new nation's first Treasury Secretary, his contentious relations with his fellow Founding Fathers, and their dramatic struggle to craft a new, independent government for the United States of America. 

The version of Miranda's show that has finally reached the Washington area premiered in San Francisco and is one of five off-Broadway versions of Hamilton currently being performed across the U.S. and Britain. The show is directed at the Kennedy Center by Thomas Kail, with music supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire and choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler.

Hamilton continues at the The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC through September 16th.

J. Wynn Rousuck has been reviewing theater for WYPR's Midday (and previously, Maryland Morning) since 2007. Prior to that, she was the theater critic of The Baltimore Sun, where she reviewed more than 3,000 plays over the course of 23 years. Her feature coverage for The Sun included a comprehensive series chronicling the development of the Tony Award-winning musical, “Hairspray.” Judy got her start at The Cleveland Press and at Cleveland’s fine arts radio station, WCLV. Her broadcasting experience also includes a year as an on-air theater critic for Maryland Public Television.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.
Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)