There’s no denying it: “Hamilton” is a hit.
Its second national tour, which kicked off at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre in February, is selling tickets like hot cakes. This is great news for an amazingly talented cast — and notably, a diverse one.
See, the actors in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical come from different ethnic backgrounds, something that has been done on purpose to give people of color representation.
There weren’t many Asians in late 18th-century U.S., so it’s especially thrilling to find them snagging principal roles in the current production.
The star of the show’s Philip Cast is half-Japanese Joseph Morales, who hails from Hawaii.
Morales previously played the alternate of the titular role in the Chicago cast, subbing for Miguel Cervantes once a week in the production that bowed in August, as per the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
According to Broadway World, he also performed in the national tours of “If/Then,” “Bombay Dreams” and “In The Heights,” where he played Usnavi. Meanwhile, his television credits include “Chicago Med” and “Colony.”
As the Chicago contract closed, Morales got a callback and scored Alexander Hamilton for the Philip tour, in memory of the Founding Father’s first child, Philip Hamilton.
He told The Oregonian:
“For me, the difficulty was tapping into his hotheadedness unapologetically and with abandon. And sometimes he’s not always likeable. As a human being you want to be likeable, so to tap into something like that unapologetically, it’s a challenge.”
Another actor making waves in “Hamilton” is Shoba Narayan, who plays Eliza, the wife of the Founding Father.
Narayan, who debuted with “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812,” is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory at Berklee and holds a BFA in Musical Theater.
That musical is a 12-time Tony nominee. In addition, the Pennsylvania-native holds screen credits in “Quantico” “Growing Up Smith” and “Halal in the Family,” which all aired in 2015.
As Natasha, she is the first South Asian woman to be part of a leading cast on Broadway since “Bombay Dreams,” according to Playbill.
What she told the outlet on playing Natasha resonates on her stint as Eliza:
“What’s happening is really special. Someone like me, of my ethnic background, playing a leading lady on Broadway, is something I’ve personally never seen and is really meaningful.”
Finally, there’s Marcus Choi, who landed the role of George Washington.
Born in Toronto, the Korean-American actor grew up in California, traveled the world and ended up in New York. He has a long list of TV credits, some of which include “Chicago PD,” “The OA,” “90210,” “2 Broke Girls” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Meanwhile, his Broadway credits include “Miss Saigon,” “Allegiance,” “Sweet Charity,” “Wicked,” “Flower Drum Song” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”
On his role as a Founding Father and the first president of the United States, Choi told VICE:
“I think playing Washington [in Hamilton] for anyone is a big deal.”
“It’s such a great role filled with intensity and integrity. I think the bigger deal is the fact that in such a successful show, the Hamilton creative team has taken another step forward and non-traditionally cast an already non-traditional show.”
After Seattle, the second leg of “Hamilton” plays in Portland, Salt Lake City, Costa Mesa, Las Vegas, Des Moines, Cleveland and Minneapolis.
The musical is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman and The Public Theater, as per The Hollywood Reporter.