‘Hamilton’ closes in Des Moines this weekend. Here’s a look back at its ‘magical’ run.
Elijah Malcomb plays John Laurens and Philip Hamilton in the touring production of Hamilton The Des Moines Register
“Hamilton: An American Musical” closes Sunday after 24-show run at the Des Moines Civic Center. Were you in the room where it happened?
Local media (including this entertainment reporter) spun takes on the power of this hip-hop musical, which chronicles the life of America’s $10 founding father, Alexander Hamilton. Some highlights ...
Cedar Rapids Gazette said the show “raises the theatrical bar” in Des Moines. The reviewer writes “This is a show for the ages, unlike any show that’s come before it."
Des Moines pop radio station Star 102.5 weighed in, saying “(It’s) the most important of this century. … It’s a show that is important now and will be for generations to come. It’s a show that, for once, is not hyperbole to say cannot be missed.”
Broadway World reviewed the experience of seeing the show in Des Moines, advising to “suspend your disbelief and enjoy.”
Even the Register’s editorial board gave a Fourth of July take on Hamilton, Burr and the rest of the cast: “One of the reasons this story resonates today is that it reminds us that our country’s destiny and democracy are in our hands, and it’s up to us to protect it.”
And fans agree with the critics. The Register's opening night exit survey had one theatergoer describe the experience as "internally screaming."
Looking for one more take on “Hamilton”? Read the Register’s full review here.
Mitchell Nieland, 27, of Woodward, was thrilled with the show in Des Moines.
An estimated 65,000 theater fans from 48 states traveled to downtown Des Moines to see the show. But, what about the locals driving this musical’s success?
Enter: Kevin Ha, an 18-year-old poet and first-generation American who saw “Hamilton” on the Fourth of July.
“Being in a wheelchair (has) taught me to take alternative routes,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many times I've gone down the street and there’s a bump and I find another way to get where I need to go. But I always get where I need to go.”
“I feel like Alexander Hamilton exemplifies that pretty well.”
Read Ha’s full story here.
And then there’s the trio of Iowans who discussed with the Register how the musical’s provided a soundtrack to life’s most important moments.
One’s a political activist who marches to “History Has Its Eyes On You;” another’s an artist who finds Hamilton’s rags-to-riches story inspiring; the third’s a young writer who found solace in “Hamilton” during life-changing health issues.
Read their full story here.
Des Moines area dance students got some big-time lessons from "Hamilton" cast members. The Des Moines Register
Fans weren’t the only ones having fun during “Hamilton” in Des Moines. Just ask Elijah Malcomb, the 25-year-old actor playing John Laurens and Philip Hamilton.
The Register spoke with Malcomb a week into his Des Moines tenure, where he described the time as “awesome.”
He discussed his free time in Iowa’s capital city as “hanging out with people in the cast. Maybe going to the barcade. We’ve gone out to Up-Down a bunch of times. Barcades are (some) of my favorite places because I love video games. I’m not very great at a lot of video games but I love to play.”
Hamilton cast member Elijah Malcomb has been exploring Des Moines when not on stage. The Des Moines Register
And, the next week, Nik Walker, who plays Aaron Burr, penned a touching letter on Instagram about his Yankee Doodle Pops experience. Walker wrote that he stumbled upon the celebration and thanked the family who invited him to join their party.
“To the family who thought to invite me in, to Simon Estes and the symphony, to the guys firing off those big-ass guns ... so much love,” he wrote. “So glad I got this night. Thanks Des Moines.”
Safe to say, Des Moines didn’t throw away its shot at impressing the touring talent.