FILE: The 2021 national tour of ‘Hamilton.’ (Courtesy photo)

Hamilton turns a decade old next year, but it’s hardly aged since its inception. The musical phenomenon, which opened last Wednesday at the Winspear as part of the Broadway Dallas season. The founding father returns to Dallas for its third tour but the cast for this show brought their own flair to the show which gave this version a refreshing take even from the last tour here back in 2021. 

David Korins’ scenic design was the first dramatic introduction to the show with its two-level wood framed set that was home to all scenes and numbers. The look was imposing and innovative. As the show moved along, the set was just as dynamic as a passage of time for Hamilton to play out.

Inspired by Ron Chernow’s book Alexander Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s book and music remained fresh with potent numbers underlined by hip-hop sensibilities with pop and R&B added in. But the bio-musical was nonetheless effective in rolling out a massive history class that was engaging and exciting. 

Blaine Alden Krauss played the titular role with astounding energy. He evolved Hamilton with ease from his youthful eagerness for war to a tragedy-stricken elder. As his wife Eliza, Kendyl Sayuri Yokoyama matched Krauss’ performance with not only her strong voice, but lovely moments of tender emotion and humor. Lencia Kebede as sister Angelica Schulyer was solid but surprisingly a bit muted compared to Yokoyama. Milika Cheree gave Peggy Schuyler the humor needed for the role, but flipped the script as the alluring Maria Reynolds in the second half. 

The cast embodied these characters with contemporary nuance which gave the show an added freshness. Carvens Lissant as George Washington and Deon’te Goodman as Aaron Burr were appropriately stoic although Goodman really painted Burr with a heavy coat of ambition and dichotomy. Eddie Ortega as Hercules Mulligan and James Madison, Tyler Fauntleroy as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton were all giving MVP performances.

Perhaps the most thrilling performance was that of Jared Howelton as Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. He stole most of his scenes if not with comic sass and physicality, then by spitting bars with rapid fire speed. His “What Did I Miss” number was a thrill to watch Howelton boots the house down. Not to be outdone, Paul Louis Lessard’s King George – met with roaring applause – milked his numbers within an inch of their lives to hilarious and bratty effect. 

While the actors were all amazing, all the other elements were just as thrilling. Andy Blankenbuehler’s choreography was crucial to the storytelling and just at times, hypnotic to watch. Alex Lacamorie’s orchestrations heightened the emotions and Music Director Emmanual Schvartzman bolstered the music’s strength with a powerful orchestra. 

With an election year, Hamilton‘s songs resonated just a little more. So much was at stake then and here we are with so much at stake still. A lot of Miranda’s book and lyrics just hit harder today – “immigrants, we get the job done,” “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We fought for these ideals, we shouldn’t settle for less,””Raise a glass to freedom, something they can never take away.” These gave Wednesday’s performance an added layer of profundity which also was a testament to Miranda’s writing. 

Hamilton runs through June 9 at the Winspear.  

–Rich Lopez