Brandon Victor Dixon takes over as Hamilton’s Aaron Burr

brandonvictordixonHamilton has found a new duelling partner. In mid-August, two-time Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon will step into the role of Aaron Burr, succeeding Leslie Odom Jr., who previously announced a departure date of 9 July.

Hamilton is also gaining a new Mrs. His Eliza will now be played by Lexi Lawson. She is joining the company immediately, replacing Phillipa Soo, who’s moving into the starring role in the pre-Broadway engagement of the new musical Amelie.

The 9 July departures of Odom and Soo were announced last month, along with the leave-taking of the show’s creator and titular star, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Succeeding Miranda as America’s founding father Alexander Hamilton is Javier Munoz, who has been the role’s alternate.

Dixon is currently on Broadway in his Tony-nominated role as composer Eubie Blake in Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. That show last month posted a surprise closing notice of 24 July, concurrent with the earlier scheduled departure from the company of Audra McDonald, who is pregnant. Dixon’s first Tony nomination came for his work in the original production of The Color Purple.

Lawson is marking her Broadway debut with Hamilton. Earlier she was featured in the national tour of Miranda’s In The Heights and before that toured in Rent.

Along with Munoz’s move up, the role of Hamilton has a new alternate, Michael Luwoye. He’ll take the stage once a week, in what will be his Broadway debut.

Meanwhile, the New York theatre community is mourning the passing of one of Broadway’s most prominent and enduring leading men, John McMartin. He died on 6 July in Manhattan at age 86.

With a manner that could go from goofy to patrician, McMartin created such diverse roles as the claustrophobic and reluctant fiancé Oscar in Sweet Charity (which he also played in the movie version) and the formidable Benjamin Stone in Follies. He began his New York theatre career Off-Broadway in 1959 as the forest ranger Billy Jester in the operetta parody Little Mary Sunshine. It garnered him a Theatre World Award, a recognition presented annually for outstanding New York stage debuts.

Although he never took home a Tony Award, he was nominated five times for his work in both musical and non-musical roles. Nominations for his work in musicals came in 1966 for Sweet Charity; in 1995 for the revival of Show Boat, in which he starred as Cap’n Andy; in 1998 for High Society, and in 2002 for the revival of Into the Woods, where he starred as the narrator.

Most recent appearances included the revival of Anything Goes in 2011/12, and the political drama All the Way in 2014.

Ron Cohen

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Hamilton – The Public Theater, New York – Review


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