“Hamilton” fans in Greensboro may catch a glimpse the musical’s cast members, who say they are eager to explore the city — from its rich history to its culinary options.
The Broadway blockbuster opened Wednesday at the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, which will host performances through April 24.
Tyler Belo, who plays the characters of Hercules Mulligan and James Madison, said he recently enjoyed lunch at local taco favorite, Crafted, in downtown Greensboro. It’s his first trip to North Carolina.
“I’ve only had good experiences so far in Greensboro,” Belo said during an interview at the Tanger Center. “It’s been great. I’m excited to go to the civil rights museum.”
“Hamilton” tells the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton. Its score, with songs such as “My Shot” and “The Room Where It Happens,” blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway.
Belo said he looks forward to his interactions with people who come out to see the show. He might also be spotted taking pictures around the city in his off time, which he said is one way he likes to feed his creativity.
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Josh Tower, who plays Aaron Burr, is no stranger to North Carolina. He studied acting and earned his master’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1998.
“I cut my teeth there,” Tower said about UNC’s influence on his acting career.
Tower said he is already enjoying his time at the Tanger Center.
“This theater is beautiful,” he said, noting the view from the stage is spectacular. “It really is a pretty space.”
As a husband and a father of two children, ages 7 and 9, Tower said he is doing his best to balance his joy of performing with knowing he may be missing special moments at home.
“I feel every minute of it,” he said as he placed his hand over his heart.
Fellow cast member Zoe Jensen plays Elizabeth “Eliza” Schuyler Hamilton — the wife of Alexander Hamilton. She said the show has inspired her interest in learning more about history — including Greensboro’s.
“I’m really looking forward to exploring,” Jensen said. “It’s actually fun to learn about history.”
Jensen hopes audiences will enjoy the depth of characters like Eliza.
“She always looks forward,” Jensen said. “Even through tragedy, she can see how lucky she is.”
Belo said he has also learned life lessons from playing James Madison, such as choosing when and how to express opinions.
Certain themes resonate deeply with characters, Tower said, including lyrics in the song “Wait For It” that speak to how love and life do not discriminate between sinners and saints.
“That really embodies Burr to a T,” Tower said.
Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the script, music and lyrics for “Hamilton” and originally starred in its title role. It has won 11 Tony Awards, a Grammy Award, Olivier Awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a special citation from Kennedy Center Honors.
The musical has been a smash hit since its off-Broadway debut in 2015, followed by its Broadway premiere.