Are you excited for Lin-Manuel Miranda's universally acclaimed Hamilton musical to finally come to the Philippines?
Hamilton is slated to make its Asian premiere in the country this September at the Theater in Solaire in Parañaque. It tells the story of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton through song and rap.
Miranda, who serves as the writer and composer of the musical, shared that they have a lot of Filipino company members working on the production. But even before then, Hamilton had already featured a number of talented Filipino actors, which is one of the reasons why it's been praised for its diverse casting.
Here are the Pinoy-blooded talents who have showcased their brilliance as part of the hit Broadway musical.
Marc dela Cruz
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Marc dela Cruz has the distinction of being the first Filipino-American to bag the role of the titular character in the musical's Broadway production back in 2018. Aside from this, he also lent his talent for other roles in the play such as King George, John Laurens, Philip Hamilton, James Reynolds, and Philip Schuyler.
"I’m truly overwhelmed and humbled. It’s an honor to represent my communities in any way big or small and join the Asian American performers who’ve been representing in every Hamilton company. Since joining Hamilton, I’ve witnessed the power of this show to bring people together in a positive, uplifting way. I’m so happy to have any kind of part in that," dela Cruz said in an Instagram post.
Rachelle Ann Go
Filipina singer and actress Rachelle Ann Go has starred in various hit musicals in the Philippines, London's West End, and on Broadway, such as Miss Saigon and the 30th-anniversary staging of Les Misérables in the role of Fantine.
It was only a matter of time before she joined Miranda's West End production of Hamilton from 2017 to 2019 in the role of Eliza Schuyler, the wife of the titular character. Her performance was met with much praise from critics, and it even led her to be voted as Best Actress in the 2018 BroadwayWorld UK Awards for her role.
Along with Go, Filipino-British actress and singer Christine Allado also had the privilege of being a part of the play's West End production, where she brought life to Eliza's sister Peggy as well as Maria Reynolds, the woman that Hamilton had an affair with. Even before this, however, she had already gotten the chance to work with Miranda when she starred in another one of his musical masterpieces, In the Heights.
Speaking about her role in Hamilton, Allado wrote in a Facebook post, "Can't even express how happy and grateful I am to be joining the original London cast of Hamilton: An American Musical as Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds. Thankful and excited and so thrilled for this project, which I have been a massive fan of and now get to be a part of! Thank you universe!"
Karla Puno Garcia
A proud Filipino-American choreographer based in New York City, Karla Puno Garcia had been cast in Hamilton as a swing—which is a term for an offstage performer who only goes on stage if someone in the ensemble is unable to do so. Her job is to learn the vocal and dance parts of the other women in the ensemble in case she needs to fill in for them. It's a rather underappreciated role, but a very crucial one at that.
In an interview with NBC News, Garcia said that she "was such a nerd" and "was freaking out" when she found out that she was to be a part of the award-winning musical. While she admitted that handling several roles at once was tricky, it was nevertheless a fulfilling experience.
"Once you get onstage, you’re like 'Oh I know it,' but then you start to remember what it feels like to do the other person’s part and your sense memory comes back. You have to compartmentalize, which I’m learning to do more of. I’m more of a relative thinker so I’m learning how to compartmentalize the [roles] as two separate things. It’s tricky, but it gets easier every day," she said.
Premiering in 2015, Hamilton has won 16 nominations and 11 awards, including best musical at the Tony Awards, considered the highest accolade in the musical industry. It also won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Hamilton made its southern hemisphere premiere in Australia in March 2021, touring in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. It's set to kick off its international tour this May, starting in Auckland in New Zealand.