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'Hamilton' Cast Visits Hamilton, Ohio

hamilton cast
Courtesy of Jacob Stone
Edred Utomi, left, who plays Alexander Hamilton, with costar Paul Oakley Stovall, who portrays George Washington, in front of the city of Hamilton's 'The American Cape' statue on High Street.

The city of Hamilton knew it didn't want to throw away its shot when Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical Hamilton came to Cincinnati. Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller on Wednesday presented two actors from the touring production, now at the Aronoff, with a proclamation honoring the hit show.

Around 100 people, including students from the Hamilton High School choir, attended the event, which took place on High Street in front of the city's "American Cape" statue, commemorating founding father Alexander Hamilton. 

"It's very humbling for the two of us to stand here and be the ones to have this photo op and accept this," Paul Oakley Stovall, who plays George Washington in the touring production, says in the below video taken by a city employee during the event. (Costar Edred Utomi, who plays Alexander Hamilton, stands next to him.) "Being a Midwestern boy myself, Ohio is the heart of this country, and it's really lovely to come to a town of this size that has clearly maintained its integrity ... We're just really humbled and honored to be here today, so thank you." 

The idea to have the cast come to Hamilton was the brainchild of Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center. "(The show) is called Hamilton, we couldn't miss that," he tells WVXU. "It's changed the face of musical theater in this country and in the world. When they talk about it in history books, they will talk before and after Hamilton." 

Since the musical debuted on Broadway in 2015, tickets around the country have sold out months in advance. Based on the 2004 biographical book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, the show can command $849 for seats at the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York, where it grossed $161 million over the course of the last Broadway season, May 2017 to May 2018.

Tickets for the Cincinnati production, in town through March 10, are sold out and going for upwards of $200 on StubHub.

Jennifer Merritt brings 15 years of "tra-digital" journalism experience to WVXU, having served in various digital roles for such legacy publications as InStyle and Parade, as well as start-ups like Levo League and iVillage. She helped these outlets earn several awards, including MIN's 2015 Digital Team of the Year. She graduated from Rutgers University with a journalism major and English minor and has continued her education with professional development classes through the Poynter Institute, Columbia University and PMJA. Before moving to Cincinnati from New York in 2016, she vowed her son would always call it "soda" and not "pop." She has so far been successful in this endeavor.