The multi-award winning musical HAMILTON has officially entered the room here in Toronto!  The touring company has returned for a second shot here at the Princess of Wales Theatre after a quick start and quicker shut-down forced by city officials during the early months of the global pandemic. Is it worth the hype? YES!

You may have heard the buzz around this musical and may even be curious as to why this storyline would draw the attention of generations old  and young. The story about Alexander Hamilton — a historical and political U.S. figure involved in shaping the American financial system doesn’t sound like something young adults would be interested in. That is, until Lin-Manuel Miranda, an award-winning songwriter, actor and director, created this stunning work and proved that history can be presented with a modern and approachable way for a wider audience.

This is a story about America then, told by America now.

Alexander Hamilton (Deaundre’ Woods) was born in Nevis – a small island in the Caribbean in 1755 or 1757 (according to his birth records). With a challenged upbringing and an ambitious mindset he managed to make his way to the U.S. where he would obtain the education and connections to reach his dreams. Here, he met his friend and rival Aaron Burr (Donald Webber, Jr.) who challenged him on every level. Burr was patient while Hamilton was hungry and never satisfied – they constantly pushed each other’s buttons. Hamilton worked his way to becoming President George Washington’s (Darnell Abraham) aide and strategists. One of Hamilton’s most significant and revolutionary contributions was creating an entire financial system for the U.S.. He was credited for pulling the country out of debt and considered one of America’s Founding Fathers.

Hamilton also met and married Eliza Schuyler (Morgan Anita Wood). We learned more about her in the second half of the engaging musical as the story offered insight into Hamilton’s life as a husband and father.  Controversy was revealed in both Hamilton’s personal and political life.

After Hamilton passed away, Eliza carved out her own legacy as founder of two schools for children from families who could not afford an education. She also founded New York’s first private orphanage inn honour of her late husband.Hamilton - Mirvish - TheatreThe musical starts with an introduction and opens with an overview of Alexander Hamilton’s life timeline…

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by Providence, impoverished in squalor grow up to be a hero and a scholar? The ten dollar Founding Father without a father got a lot farther by workin’ a lot harder by bein’ a lot smarter. By bein’ a self-starter.

You can find the full lyrics of the first song here — it’s a good quick read to a baseline understanding Alexander Hamilton’s legacy before heading to see the musical.

The mash up of rap, hip-hop, R&B, jazz, and familiar musical theatre grooves are brilliantly incorporated into this production. At the opening night performance, Woods was clearly invested in his character and delivered Hamilton with a smooth confidence even in his faster-paced pieces.  I could just listen to his voice all day, everyday. Webber, Jr.’s performance as Burr was a balance to the eagerness in Woods’ Hamilton with a calm-before-the-storm feeling in his voice that mirrored his character and felt to the core.

Paris Nix played Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson with charm and is highly entertaining to watch. As was Manuel Stark Santos who played an embellished and comical role of King George on the night we were in the audience.

Fun fact! I had  learned somewhere that the average musical has approximately 60 words per minute and HAMILTON has an average of 150 words per minute. The faster paced songs hover at a neck-breaking 200 words per minute. It was literally breathtaking to see and hear the incredible cast of this production tell this story. It’s also mind-blowing that they will be performing at this rapid fire pace nearly every night. I’m hoping to see this again mid-way through the run as I find their strength and stamina to be absolutely amazing! Of course not all lyrics are so heavy – there are a few sweet songs that remind me of  radio shows like old school favourite, “The Quiet Storm”.

The choreography of this production by Andy Blankenbuehler also brought non-stop energy to the stage. His blend of dance styles incorporated traditional to modern and contemporary but very much offers an emotional response to musical number.  We saw styles of hip-hop and  Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins and Michael Jackson, as well as and a sprinkle of Gene Kelly that all keeps the numbers fun to take in.

I had seen this musical before but experiencing it with my eighteen year-old son felt more special. Knowing that this musical had a massive younger following proved that history isn’t always boring. HAMILTON is definitely not boring. I encouraged the kiddo to do a little research before seeing the musical. Most parents will agree that finding things to see and do together as a family with teens can be challenging.

HAMILTON hits the all the right chords by presenting a story made interesting through how it is told– even for teens.  This isn’t your typical history lesson and we all learned a lot beyond Hamilton’s life as well as taking in a few life lessons  — focus, perseverance, and never settling for being just satisfied. Also about love, temptation, character, friends, and trust. I’m pretty everyone will get some interesting observations beyond the history.Hamilton - Mirvish - Toronto

I was also curious about the hashtag #AndPeggyTour along side many mentions of Hamilton the Musical. It’s what this particular touring company is referred to. So, who’s Peggy? What was this all about? Peggy (Malika Cherée) was one of the three older Schuyler sisters. Hamilton had married Eliza, the second, and okay, he also had an interest in the eldest sister Angelica (Marja Hammon). Peggy’s narrative was pretty much left out of the musical storyline. It likely would have stemmed from her line in the production  “And Peggy!“.

Perhaps this may just be a possible window cracked open for her story to unfold…someday? Here’s an interesting article I spotted on her story.

A little research also landed me on Urban Dictionary as “That one ‘friend’ that always tries to include themself, but then ends up being the hot one with the best voice.”

HAMILTON the Musical is now on stage at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto. You definitely want to be in this room as it’s definitely happening! Recently we learned that  10 additional weeks were announced. The show will now run until August 20, 2023. Tickets and more info can be found at

There is also a #HAM4HAM digital lottery happening and it’s worth trying your luck if you find the normal ticket prices are stopping you from seeing this production. 40 tickets will be available for every performance for $10 each. You can find out more information here.

There are SO many great quotes that I found myself jotting down throughout the musical. Here are my faves…

“Death doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints.” ~ Wait For It

“I’m just like my country. I’m young, scrappy and hungry. And I’m not throwin’ away my shot!” ~ My Shot

“When you got skin in the game, you stay in the game. But you don’t get a win unless you play in the game.” ~ The Room Where It Happens