In one of the most highly anticipated casting announcements, the Australian artists set to star in ‘Hamilton’ have been announced.
Including a diverse line-up of emerging and talented musical theatre stars, these performers will join the revolution and take on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash hit.
Landing the role of a lifetime, Jason Arrow will fill the main shoes of Alexander Hamilton. The rising talent and Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) graduate previously starred in supporting roles in ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’. Arrow leads a principle cast comprised almost entirely of people of colour from Australia and New Zealand.
Playing Hamilton’s main antagonist, Aaron Burr is WAAPA graduate Lyndon Watts, who recently starred in ‘Sweet Charity’, ‘Anything Goes’ and ‘Singin’ in the Rain’. National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) graduate Shaka Cook will play Hercules Mulligan/James Madison. Cook is known for recently playing Jasper Jones in Queensland Theatre Company’s production of the same name, and Wangarra in Sydney Theatre Company’s ‘The Secret River’. Also among the principal cast includes Matu Ngaropo as George Washington, Victory Ndukwe who will play Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, and Marty Alix who will play John Laurens/Philip Hamilton.
Fresh from playing Aragon in the Australian production of ‘Six: The Musical’ and Anita in ‘West Side Story’, Chloé Zuel will bring to life Eliza Schuyler. Ready to work alongside her are New Zealand’s Akina Edmonds, who recently starred as Janelle Woods in ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’ as Angelica Schuyler and Elandrah Eramiha in the dual roles of Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds.
On Standby for Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Lafayette/Jefferson, Laurens/Philip is American performer Jimmie “JJ” Jeter, who was an understudy for Hamilton on Broadway. Jeter moved into the role just before COVID-hit this year. Jeffery Duffy who also toured in the US production has been cast among the diverse ensemble. Also on Standby is Kirrah Amosa, Winston Hillyer and Callan Purcell.
Rounding out the talented ‘Hamilton’ cast are ensemble members Daniel Assetta, Keanu Gonzalez, Kyla Bartholomeusz, Iosefa Laga’aia, Loredo Malcolm, Jayme Jo Massoud, Tainga Savage, Jas Smith-Sua, Tigist Strode and Romina Villafranca. Swing/Dance Captains include Kim Taylor and James Maxfield, with Swing performers including Isaac Bradley, Olivia Carniato, Luca Dinardo, Julian Kuo, Stefan Lagoulis, Ashton Lash, Zelia Rose and Zachary Webster.
‘Hamilton’s’ Writer and Composer, Lin-Manuel Miranda commented on how excited he was about the Australian cast announcement.
“I am incredibly excited by the cast we have assembled for the premiere of ‘Hamilton’ in Australia,” said Miranda. “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. Led by Jason Arrow as Alexander Hamilton, this cast has such incredible talent, warmth and power. I know they will thrill and move audiences in Sydney when it’s safe to return.”
‘Hamilton’ Choreographer, Andy Blankenbuehler, also spoke about the production and the new heights it will reach in Australia.
“As a choreographer, there’s nothing more thrilling than to see the team’s vision come to life on stage, and with ‘Hamilton’ companies around the world, that vision has just been dazzling, time and time again,” Blankenbuehler said. “But I think we’re going to be pushing things to new heights with the exciting company that’s been assembled in Australia. Their talent and passion are all simply top-notch, and I simply cannot wait for the world to see them!”
‘Hamilton’ Director Thomas Kail spoke about the amazing diversity among Australian performers and the level of talent displayed by the cast members.
“I have been deeply impressed by the exceptionally talented and diverse candidates from all over Australia and New Zealand,” said Kail. “The level of talent that will play in Sydney is first-rate – rivalling both Broadway and the West End. I cannot wait for audiences to watch this dynamic cast dazzle eight times a week.”
The Australian premiere of ‘Hamilton’ will open at the Sydney Lyric Theatre from March 2021. Due to unprecedented demand, additional performances will go on sale on Friday, 13 November, with the show now booking until 5 September 2021.
With book, music and lyrics by Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Blankenbuehler and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, ‘Hamilton’ is based on Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography. The production features a score, which combines hip-hop, R&B, jazz to tell the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton; with themes of culture, politics and educations. Orchestrations/Co-Arranger for ‘Hamilton’, Alex Lacamoire spoked of the complexity in the musical’s songs.
“The score for ‘Hamilton’ makes large musical demands of its actors as it requires a specialised kind of dexterity to execute the complex songs,” said Lacamoire. “I was delighted to find so many skilled performers in Australia and I’m excited about the local talent that we’ve assembled because I feel they will interpret our show’s music with immense power and passion.’
The production premiered on Broadway in August 2015 to critical acclaim, winning Tony®, Grammy®, and Olivier Awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and an unprecedented special citation from the Kennedy Center Honors.
The Australian production of ‘Hamilton’ is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman, The Public Theater and Michael Cassel. It is supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
Want to be in the room where it happens? ‘Hamilton’ performs at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in March 2021.
The cast announcement is available below and was made by the Michael Cassel Group.