Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton’s Tony-winning creator; Leslie Odom Jr., a Tony winner for his performance as Aaron Burr; and Phillipa Soo, Tony-nominated for playing Eliza Hamilton, take their final bows at the Richard Rodgers Theatre next weekend.
Playbill is auctioning off one pair of VIP house seats (two tickets in the orchestra) for the July 9 performance of Hamilton with 100 percent of the proceeds from the Charitybuzz.com auction benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Actors Fund. The Charity Buzz auction runs through July 5 at 3 PM.
Click here to bid, and read on for the nine reasons Miranda, Soo and Odom, Jr. will be missed when they depart Hamilton.
There’s something very special about the first spotlight that hits Lin-Manuel Miranda standing center stage to introduce himself as Alexander Hamilton. The rapturous applause drowns out his next line, “My name is Alexander Hamilton,” because it’s exciting to see the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning author take the stage to tell the story he created. Not many people can write the book, music and lyrics to a show, star as the title role and receive massive acclaim for his work. By now, Miranda has graced the covers of Time, Rolling Stone, Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, so, yes… We all do know his name.
Leslie’s Show-Stopping Numbers in Act I and Act II
Leslie Odom, Jr. has not one but two show-stopping numbers in Hamilton. The first comes about 40 minutes into the first act. “Wait For It,” in which he admits to having an affair with the wife of a British officer and explains how he is willing to wait and see what is in store for their future (as well as the future of his rivalry with Hamilton), is delivered in stillness. Odom, Jr. stands center, in one of the best pop/hip-hop songs written for the musical theatre. The smooth tone of his voice and his sultry vocal embellishments deserve airtime on the radio, and Odom, Jr.’s performance will be missed.
In the second act, he showcases his dance skills in “The Room Where It Happens,” backed by the entire ensemble. He’s jumping on and off tables, doing “Thriller”-inspired choreography and belting at the top of his lungs. Click, BOOM!
Phillipa’s “Helpless” Riffs
“Helpless” is Phillipa Soo’s first big moment in the show and the moment audiences completely fall in love with her. We can’t help smiling when she sings to her sister, “Yo, this one’s mine,” but it’s really the end of the song in which Soo lets loose on her vocals. She is revolved around the stage as her riffs and runs rival Charlie Parker’s saxophone. It’s like she’s the Beyoncé of Broadway in this number. (Check out Beyoncé’s “Countdown” and see how the two songs and two voices correlate!)
Ham4Ham Shows Hosted by Lin
From the moment Hamilton began on Broadway, hundreds stormed the lottery for their chance to win a $10 ticket to the hottest show in New York City. Since many would inevitably go home empty-handed, Miranda instituted Ham4Ham, a pre-show held outside the Richard Rodgers Theatre as an unparalleled “thank you” for those who turn out. Miranda always hosted Ham4Ham, and over the past year he has lined up some stellar guests—Kelli O’Hara, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, George Takei, Terrence Mann, Darren Criss and dozens more.
Leslie’s Character Work
Odom, Jr. goes from that annoying scholar, who is always chasing Hamilton’s tail and trying to one-up everyone in the first act, to a character of unprecedented Broadway swag in the show’s second act. Only an actor like Odom, Jr. can properly execute that dichotomy onstage—to make audiences hate him and love him simultaneously.
Tweets Like These…
The Schuyler Sisters (played by Soo, Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones) started making mini musicals from the beginning. In fact, Jones previously told Playbill, “[Our harmony] is so natural for us that Lin came in one day and said, ‘Wait? What is this sound? What are you doing?’ and began making Vines of us harmonizing together.” Goldsberry added that Miranda and the music team “gave us a couple of beats to harmonize with each other to reflect this thing that had taken place—the Schuyler sisters are harmonizing spiritually and vocally with each other.” The three are visibly inseparable, and we can’t get enough of their backstage videos. Check out two of them below!
— Phillipa Soo (@Phillipasoo) November 2, 2015
— RenéeEliseGoldsberry (@reneeelisegolds) February 16, 2016
The Tears in Lin’s Eyes
In “Dear Theodosia,” we see some of Miranda’s best acting to date. As he sings to his son, Philip, we can’t help but think of the little boy Miranda keeps posting about on his Twitter, his one-and-a-half-year-old son, Sebastian. The look in his eyes is touching as he sings, “You will come of age with our young nation/We’ll bleed and fight for you, we’ll make it right for you/If we lay a strong enough foundation/We’ll pass it on to you, we’ll give the world to you/And you’ll blow us all away…” Then, at the end of the show, when Miranda delivers his final monologue in “The World Was Wide Enough,” he gets teary-eyed as he speaks his final words. It’s his finest and most moving performance in the show.
The Look on Leslie’s Face When Hamilton Endorses Jefferson
When Jefferson and Burr tie in the race for Presidency of the United States, it comes down to Hamilton to endorse one or the other. When Hamilton—center stage atop the scaffolding—chooses Jefferson over Burr, Odom, Jr.’s face is etched with Burr’s utter shock and complete heartbreak. Furthermore, when Jefferson turns Burr down to partner with him as Vice President of the United States and Odom, Jr. is left standing with an unreturned handshake, it doubles the blow… And, we actually feel for the villain that Odom, Jr. has created.
Eliza Hamilton takes one hit after another. After learning her husband has cheated on her—and delivering an emotional and heartfelt “Burn,” in which she incinerates all evidence of their written communication—she then finds her son, Philip, in the hospital with fatal wounds. Soo runs to his side and pours every ounce of emotion into her performance, holding Philip until he passes—helplessly screaming out to the audience and filling the theatre with chills. She then stoically collects herself for “It’s Quiet Uptown,” bringing the house to tears.