Hamilton Singapore: A charismatic musical filled with theatrical meaning

In addition to winning 11 Tony Awards, 7 Laurence Olivier Awards, a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Hamilton musical comes with a massive reputation, and it is no surprise to see why its announcement that it will be travelling to Singapore has made waves.

For the unfamiliar, Hamilton comes by way of Lin-Manuel Miranda, who takes inspiration from Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton and blended hip-hop, R&B, pop, and traditional musical theatre styles to narrate Hamilton’s journey from humble beginnings as an orphan to his ascent as a prominent figure in global politics.

After sold-out shows in Manila and Abu Dhabi, the International Tour of Hamilton has reached the shores of Singapore. It will be staged at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands until 9 June 2024

As with most biographical stories, we start right at the beginning. Hamilton drops us into 18th-century New York, where we are introduced to the future revolutionaries and prominent figures who helped turn the tide of the Revolutionary War against the British Empire. Among this group are the titular Alexander Hamilton, along with the Marquis de Lafayette and Hercules Mulligan, all of whom are immigrants from the Caribbean, France, and Ireland, respectively.

As the musical continues, we learn all about the exploits of Hamilton as he makes his rise to become a key figure in the American Revolution to his eventual fall in 1804. 

The titular Alexander Hamilton is portrayed by the charismatic Jason Arrow, who replaces Lin-Manuel Miranda and is no stranger to the role. Arrow delighted audiences during the musical’s run in Australia back in 2021. Arrow is an infectious presence right from the off, with his first-act song, “My Shot,” perfectly embodying Hamilton’s determination, ambition, and belief to endear the audience to the character.

But it isn’t all about the singing and rapping from Arrow that makes his performance impressive; it is how he combines it with effortless dance routines to draw the audience in. These dance routines are deftly executed to the beats of the songs to provide a spectacle all around.

Hamilton Singapore: Jason Arrow
Jason Arrow (centre) reprises his role as Alexander Hamilton on the International Tour in Singapore

Jason Arrow may play the main guy in the Hamilton International Tour, but the rest of the cast is similarly outstanding throughout the production. 

David Park’s dual roles as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson are also another highlight of Hamilton’s Singapore bow. Particularly for Lafayette, he brings a level of chutzpah that keeps the audience laughing in bits whenever he is on stage.

And of course, I cannot forget about Rachelle Ann Go’s Eliza Hamilton, the beloved wife of Alexander Hamilton. She provides an outstanding complement to Arrow’s Hamilton, bringing poise to a character with so many layers to uncover.

While many may speak about her performance in the early periods of the production, where she starts as a shy bride to an ambitious man, I want to give props to her number in “That Would Be Enough“. With Go’s shining vocals, she executes the heart-tugging scene of Eliza informing her husband that she is pregnant to perfection.  In the song, Eliza Hamilton articulates a simple yet profound desire for her husband’s presence and love, emphasising that his mere presence would be enough to bring her happiness — sang poignantly with the lines “Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now”.

Hamilton Singapore: Rachelle Ann Go
Rachelle Ann Go (centre) as Eliza Hamilton in “The Schuyler Sisters”

The performance from the cast is a brilliant complement to what is a resoundingly engaging storyline from Lin-Manuel Miranda. You may think that the contemporary telling of 18th-century American history might not resonate with Singaporean audiences, but Hamilton’s tale is surprisingly similar to Singapore’s own journey.

Hamilton delves into themes of legacy, nation-building, and the enduring impact of individuals on society. It prompts reflection on how actions today shape the future and contribute to the broader narrative of a nation — encapsulated none more so than the song “The World Was Wide Enough“. It aligns with how Singapore came to be what it is today.

Beyond the story and performances, Hamilton’s production is elevated by the costumes and set design. While the rapping sequences might pull me back to our modern times, the costumes nonetheless seamlessly immerse the audience in that era of American history. It is wonderfully vibrant to see, too, with all manner of colours on show to catch the eye; you’ll agree once you see King George appear on stage.

Similarly, the set design sets the stage (pun intended) for every scene. Not only does the era-accurate set put you in the world of 18th-century America, but its dynamic lighting sets the tone for each jaw-dropping performance. It is a wonder how they managed to recreate the same level of spectacle in the Sands Theatre!

Hamilton’s debut in Singapore inspires and excites with its production — everything from the performances and music to even the minute details in the sets provides a stunning extravaganza to behold when experiencing it. You’ll thoroughly be gripped to your seat till the time comes to give the cast their well-deserved standing applause.

Hamilton International Tour Singapore

Hamilton Singapore: Fan Meet

🗓️Date: 19 April 2024 to 9 June 2024
📍Location: Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands

CategoriesOff-peak(Tues – Thurs/ Sun 6.30pm)Peak(Fri/Sat/Sun 1pm)
StallsS$150 – S$250S$170 – S$280
Dress CircleS$180 – S$250S$200 – S$250
VIP Box S$1,000S$1,000
Grand CircleS$80 – S$120S$100 – S$140
Box ABS$720S$720

Tickets for Hamilton can be purchased through the Marina Bay Sands website.

Visuals courtesy of Hamilton International Tour Singapore.

Jeffrey Lee

A Singaporean raised abroad, you might want to see Jeffrey's different take on things — especially if you frequently find yourself swinging around a climbing gym or with a crossword in hand.

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