‘HAMIL­TON’ CAST GIVES TO CITY

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY ADAM BELL [email protected]­lot­teob­server.com A (dot) Bell: 704-358-5696; @abell

The cast of “Hamil­ton” has been in Char­lotte for nearly a month and has found gen­er­ous ways to spend down time.

Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton hiked up Crow­der’s Moun­tain, while King Ge­orge am­bled through the streets of NoDa.

Thomas Jef­fer­son’s a Me­tal­lica fan. An­gel­ica Schuyler hosted a karaoke con­test for char­ity. And Alexan­der Hamil­ton’s friends reg­is­tered peo­ple to vote, ran free classes for stu­dents, feasted on Bo­jan­gles’, en­joyed beers at The Cel­lar at Duck­worth’s and spent a day frol­ick­ing at the U.S. Na­tional White­wa­ter Cen­ter.

Man, the cast is non­stop.

These are just some of the things the com­pany of “Hamil­ton” has been up to in the Char­lotte area dur­ing its nearly month­long stint at Blu­men­thal Per­form­ing Arts’ Belk Theater. Lin-Manuel Mi­randa’s smash Broad­way show about the “Ten Dol­lar Found­ing Father” be­gan its Char­lotte run Oct. 10 and ends Sun­day, then heads to Durham.

The two U.S. tour­ing com­pa­nies are nick­named the “An­gel­ica” and “Philip” casts, and the lat­ter set up shop in Char­lotte. They de­tailed their ex­ploits on so­cial me­dia as well as dur­ing pub­lic ex­pe­ri­ences and in in­ter­views with the Observer.

“It’s sur­real to be here for a month,” said en­sem­ble mem­ber Tyler McKen­zie, who at­tended Cen­tral Academy of Tech­nol­ogy and Arts in Union County. As soon as he got off the plane at Char­lotte Dou­glas, McKen­zie spot­ted a Bo­jan­gles’ restau­rant. “I def­i­nitely made a pur­chase,” he said, laugh­ing.

McKen­zie said he wanted to give back to a com- mu­nity that gave so much to him. So he helped out at a voter drive with fel­low cast mem­bers and Char­lotte Mayor Vi Lyles, then led a whop­ping 18 classes in two weeks at dance stu­dios, schools and as­sem­blies in the area.

Emily Jenda, a Cam New­ton fan who un­der­stud­ies all three Schuyler sis­ters, also worked the voter drive out­side Belk Theater. “We hope we can give a lit­tle bit of love back to the com­mu­nity,” she said, “be­cause we’ve def­i­nitely felt it.”

In Lan­caster County, S.C., Wonza John­son, an en­sem­ble mem­ber and Hamil­ton un­der­study, re­turned to An­drew Jack­son Mid­dle School, where he ad­dressed stu­dents dur­ing “Wonza John­son Day.” He called it a spe­cial “full-cir­cle mo­ment” at the school where he first stud­ied act­ing.

MOUN­TAINS AND ME­TAL­LICA

One of the first things some cast and orches­tra mem­bers did to take a break was hit the White­wa­ter Cen­ter.

In the words of Mar­cus Choi, who plays Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton, “To­day was epic!!!” Eli­jah Mal­comb, the show’s John Lau­rens and Philip Hamil­ton, agreed: “Fi­nally can cross zi­plin­ing off my list.”

Later, Choi posted a photo of him­self peer­ing out at the hori­zon at Crow­der’s Moun­tain, stat­ing, “My breath was taken away.”

Kyle Scatliffe, who plays Lafayette and Jef­fer­son, jumped at the chance to see Me­tal­lica at The Spec­trum Cen­ter. It was, he said on In­sta­gram, “A night I will never for­get... Yes I know you don’t meet a ton of black peo­ple that love metal. But maybe that’s the beauty of it.”

Else­where, it was any­thing but quiet up­town when cast mem­bers vis­ited Amelie’s French Bak- ery and Cafe and The Cel­lar at Duck­worth’s.

At Cap­i­tal Grille, Jon Patrick Walker (King Ge­orge) noted that Hamil­ton him­self, Joseph Morales, was the one who paid for it. “We had a man­meal to­gether. It was fun and JoMo picked up the tab. A true gen­tle­man.”

Walker also swung by Park Road Books and posed in front of a NoDa mu­ral of many faces where he was “lost in the crowd.”

For Ta’Rea Camp­bell, who plays Hamil­ton sis­terin-law An­gel­ica Schuyler, the Ritz Carl­ton spa was the place to be: “I might as well get a job here be­cause I’m never leav­ing #day­off.”

KARAOKE FOR A CAUSE

Camp­bell also spent one of her nights off as the en­er­getic host of a karaoke con­test at Res­i­dent Cul­ture Brew­ery on Cen­tral Av­enue.

She and sev­eral other mem­bers of the com­pany served as judges at the event, a ben­e­fit for Broad­way Cares/Eq­uity Fights AIDS and RAIN, a lo­cal non­profit that pro­motes dis­ease pre­ven­tion, un­der­stand­ing and dig­nity for peo­ple with HIV.

The karaoke win­ner, a 14-year-old who belted out “Sat­is­fied” from Hamil­ton, got two free tick­ets to the show, while some cast mem­bers also grooved to their own karaoke tunes. The event raised nearly $14,000 for the char­i­ties.

The evening ended with a duet be­tween Camp­bell and Morales, as An­gel­ica and Hamil­ton sang “Sud­denly Sey­mour” from “Lit­tle Shop of Hor­rors.”

A (DOT) BURR

Let’s leave the fi­nal words to Aaron Burr, Nik Walker, who dropped some knowl­edge in as­sorted tweets chron­i­cling his time in Char­lotte:

“Wore my white sox to the fi­nal duel in­stead of my black ones. Looked like a bald Michael Jack­son showed up in Wee­hawken. #SMDH.”

“Fin­ish the last show of the week... feelin peck­ish... stop by @RedeyeDin­erCLT for a quick late night bite... THE FRENCH TOAST THO. WAS. NOT. PRE­PARED. #Hamil­tonCLT”

“Also @TheMin­tMu­seum is an ac­tual gem y’all. Just... wow.”

“Am I a) do­ing the evening show or b) stay­ing in bed with a glass of @Red­breast­_US and watch­ing this sun­set?”

And fi­nally: “FACT: You’ll never feel as cool as when you’re walk­ing through Char­lotte city streets wear­ing a leather jacket, car­ry­ing two cof­fees and lis­ten­ing to the @BabyDriverMovie sound­track.”

Char­lotte

The cast of “Hamil­ton” has been in Char­lotte for nearly a month, and has been an as­set to the com­mu­nity.

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