An additional week of performances has been added to Hamilton season in Abu Dhabi.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Hamilton, the critically acclaimed musical, which is set to make its Middle East debut at Etihad Arena (Jan. 17, 2024 – Feb. 11, 2024), is raising quite a hum. If you are wondering about the reasons behind the buzz, here is why – call it your educational resource - this extraordinary production has garnered widespread acclaim and why it should be an unmissable experience. Hamilton revolves around the life of Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury Secretary of the United States, who rose from humble origins to become one of America’s founding fathers and George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War for American Independence.
The musical masterfully weaves together Hamilton’s story and the events that shaped the formation of the U.S. in a universally acknowledged captivating contemporary musical style. Though James Madison is widely regarded as the primary architect of the U.S. Constitution and Thomas Jefferson authored the Declaration of Independence, Hamilton made significant contributions through his collaboration on the Federalist Papers.
The papers served as a vital defense of the Constitution: it remains America’s governing document. Hamilton’s work played a crucial role in its creation, establishing the cornerstone of U.S. legislation and policy, then and now. Hamilton the man, known for his prolific writing habits, dedicated considerable time to crafting financial plans, composing letters and preparing government documents.
Additionally, he played a pivotal role as the founder of The New York Post, the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in America. The publication, originally established as the New York Evening Post in 1801, bears testament to his influential contributions to the world of journalism. He is immortalised on the U.S. $10 bill and in Hamilton the musical, he is described as the ‘10-dollar Founding Father’.
An all-action scene from Hamilton.
His inclusion in American currency serves as a tribute to his instrumental role in shaping the nation’s financial system. Hamilton the musical is the brainchild of Lin-Manuel Miranda, who dedicated seven years to crafting its music, lyrics and script. Drawing inspiration from Ron Chernow’s book ‘Alexander Hamilton’, Miranda weaves together an engaging narrative that spans Hamilton’s life, from his childhood in the Caribbean, to his role in the American Revolution and his rise as the first US Treasury Secretary, culminating in his death in 1804. Miranda’s Hamilton has had a profound impact on culture, politics and education.
The groundbreaking production has earned numerous accolades, including a record-breaking 16 Tony Award nominations, winning 11, as well as seven Olivier Awards. It has also been honoured with the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album. The musical’s fusion of diverse genres, including hip-hop, jazz, blues, Broadway and R&B, has helped it earn fans all over the globe.
With 46 tracks that feature both energetic rapping and melodious singing, it presents a blend of mainstream music and traditional music theatre. The fusion, it is acknowledged, has contributed to its phenomenal success and wide appeal. After its successful Broadway premiere in 2015, Hamilton continues to run on London’s West End. Productions have been staged throughout the US, Germany and Australia and a UK tour will begin soon. Hamilton’s first international tour premieres in Manila in September ahead of its Middle East debut at Etihad Arena in January.
Producers Jeffrey Seller and Michael Cassel recently announced that Hamilton will extend its run in Abu Dhabi by an additional week. Originally scheduled to conclude on February 4, 2024, the production will now play until February 11, 2024, following its Middle Eastern debut. With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, scenic design is by David Korins, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Nevin Steinberg and hair and wig design is by Charles G. LaPointe.
The Hamilton creative team previously collaborated on the Tony Award-winning Best Musical In the Heights. The international tour of Hamilton is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman, The Public Theater, and Michael Cassel. The Abu Dhabi season is presented by Michael Cassel Group and Proactiv Entertainment. Proactiv Entertainment is a global promoter and producer of large-scale shows, international exhibitions and music concerts.
With headquarters in Barcelona, and offices in Madrid and Abu Dhabi, it has more than thirty years of experience in the entertainment sector. Michael Cassel Group is a leading live entertainment company whose productions include the first international tour of the world’s #1 musical, The Lion King, the Australian premieres of the award-winning productions Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and & Juliet, and new productions of Mary Poppins and The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Current Broadway, US Touring and West End credits include co-producer of MJ: The Musical, Into The Woods and Pretty Woman. The Group is headquartered in Sydney, with offices in New York, Singapore, and Melbourne. Michael Cassel is an internationally recognised producer and entertainment executive, with credits including major theatrical productions, concerts, televised and special events. Miral is Abu Dhabi’s leading creator of immersive destinations and experiences and is responsible for the development and management of Yas Island, where Etihad Arena is located, and overseeing Saadiyat Island’s Destination Management Strategy.
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