Chicago finally has its Hamilton cast. And it’s good. Excellent, even. The show’s first run outside of New York features both marquee names (Karen Olivo as Angelica Schuyler and Alexander Gemignani as King George III) and those for whom Hamilton will be a first major leading role (Ari Afsar as Elizabeth Schuyler and Jose Ramos as John Laurens and Phillip Hamilton).
Notably absent from the cast are heavy hitters in the Chicago theater community, but there’s still no announcement of who’s playing leading role Aaron Burr—so there’s still hope. Meet the first wave of soon-to-be stars below.
Alexander Hamilton: Miguel Cervantes
Claim to Fame:Most recently, Cervantes starred in the touring production of The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee. Before that, Cervantes performed in the original cast of the Broadway musical If/Then
Angelica Schuyler: Karen Olivo
Claim to Fame: In 2009, Olivo received her first Tony Award for her performance as Anita in the Broadway revival of West Side Story. Before that, she originated the role of Vanessa in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2008 Tony Award-winning musical In The Heights.
King George III: Alexander Gemignani
Claim to Fame: Gemignani, the talented son of Broadway director Paul Gemignani, first made waves in Assassins, and more recently in Violet.
Eliza Hamilton: Ari Afsar
Claim to Fame: American Idol, Season 8
Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson: Chris Lee
Claim to Fame: Lee starred as the Scarecrow in The Wiz in 2015 at the Glow Lyric Theater in Greenville, South Carolina.
Alexander Hamilton alternate: Joseph Morales
Claim to Fame: Morales starred as Usnavi in the Broadway First National Tour of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights.
John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton: Jose Ramos
Claim to Fame: This is it! Hamilton marks Ramos’s stage debut. Ramos, who attended the Chicago Academy for the Performing Arts, is the only performer from the Chicago area on the announced cast list thus far.
Hercules Mulligan/James Madison: Wallace Smith
Claim to Fame: Smith played Simba in the original Broadway production of The Lion King, but more recently he starred on Broadway as Enjoras in Les Miserables.
Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds: Samantha Marie Ware
Claim to Fame: Ware most recently starred as Nabulungi on Broadway and in the national tour of the Book of Mormon. She also appeared occasionally as Jane Heyward on Glee.
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