In 2013, Nicholas Christopher was asked to come in and do a couple of readings for Hamilton. "Back when it was supposed to be just a mix tape," he says. Involved in other projects, he wasn't in the original Broadway cast that opened two years later but eventually was brought in as a cover for George Washington and Aaron Burr. Following the departure of TV and theater actor Christopher Jackson, Christopher performed George Washington full time on Broadway for the Tony-award winning show.
But Christopher never got to go on for Aaron Burr — until now. Cast in the national tour as the man who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel, he and the rest of the crew are on their way to Houston. They'll be here for a just-short-of-a-month stay that has would-be audience members eagerly vying for tickets to see this much-heralded musical about America's Founding Fathers in a diverse cast with a variety of music styles from hip-hop to standard musical theater fare.
Oh and there's a special low cost lottery that we'll go into later in this article.
Christopher, who comes from a musical family in Bermuda where his dad is a singer, actor and performer and his brother does musical theater and studied opera. Christopher also studied at The Boston Conservatory and The Julliard School. He's worked with the late David Bowie on Lazarus and been associated with playwright and performer Lin-Manuel Miranda before; he did the first national tour of In the Heights.
"The show brings up a lot of themes for Aaron Burr. Loss of his loved ones, trying his best and not always being successful and also regret," Christopher says.
"I think the secret to Lln-Manuel Miranda and [director] Tommy Kail, and [orchestrations by] Alex Lacamoire,and [choreographer] Andy Blankenbuehler is that everything is well crafted. They could probably write a story about the phone book and people would flock to it," Christopher says. "I think why this is amazing is because it’s our history. They saw the parallels between the American revolution and the hip-hop revolution. To tell this story about people and it’s grounding these people we’ve seen paintings of that we've read books about, that That have become almost mythical creatures and it humanizes them in a beautiful way that allows us to relate to them."
Thirty-two orchestra tickets will be sold for each performance for $10 each. The lottery opens at 11 a.m. Sunday April 22 for the Tuesday April 24 performance. Each subsequent digital lottery will begin two days before each performance. The press release from Broadway:
HOW TO ENTER
• Use the official app for HAMILTON, now available for all iOS and Android devices in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store (http://hamiltonmusical.com/app).
• You can also visit http://hamiltonmusical.com/lottery to register.
• The lottery will open at 11:00 AM CT two days prior to the performance date and will close for entry at 9:00 AM CT the day prior to the performance.
• Winner and non-winner notifications will be sent at approximately 11:00 AM CT the day prior to the performance via email and SMS (if mobile number is provided).
• No purchase or payment necessary to enter or participate.
• Each winning entrant may purchase up to two (2) tickets.
• Only one entry per person. Repeat entries and disposable email addresses will be discarded.
• Tickets must be purchased online with a credit card by 4:00 PM CT the day prior to the performance using the purchase link and code in a customized notification email. Tickets not claimed by 4:00 PM CT the day prior to the performance are forfeited.
• Lottery tickets may be picked up at will call beginning 2 hours prior to the performance with a valid photo ID. Lottery tickets void if resold.
Patrons must be 18 years or older and have a valid, non-expired photo ID that matches the name used to enter. Tickets are non-transferable. Ticket limits and prices displayed are at the sole discretion of the show and are subject to change without notice.
Lottery prices are not valid on prior purchases. Lottery ticket offer cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. All sales final - no refunds or exchanges. Lottery may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not improve the chances of winning.
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And how have audiences been receiving Hamilton?
"The level of anticipation is the same. Right now we're in St. Louis and they're really a rowdy bunch in a great way. In Tempe they listened a little bit more and waited to the end to show their affection."
"So many people have heard the cast album that haven’t had the chance to go to New York. They finally get to see it and I think people are sitting in those seats waiting to be a part of the revolution," Christopher says. "And so when you hear the first band hit of the bump-bumpaba-bump-bump-bump the crowd goes nuts and you might not even be able to hear the first line that I say on stage because everybody's just so excited to be there and to share in a special night."
Performances are scheduled for April 24 through May 20 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and Sundays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. No night performance on May 20. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit thehobbycenter.org, broadwayatthehobbycenter,com or ticketmaster.com. The digital lottery opens at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 22. $95-$595.