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‘Hamilton’ announces Chicago principal casting

Written by
Kris Vire

The company of the Chicago production of the massive hit musical Hamilton will include Miguel Cervantes as the title character and Tony Award winner Karen Olivo as Angelica Schuyler, it was announced Wednesday morning.

Cervantes, who has appeared on Broadway as an ensemble member in American Idiot and If/Then, will fill show creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s shoes as Alexander Hamilton. Olivo, who largely stepped away from Broadway after originating the role of Vanessa in Miranda’s In the Heights and winning the Tony for the 2009 revival of West Side Story, will return to the stage as the bold and brainy Angelica.

Alexander Gemignani will take on the featured role of King George; Ari Afsar, a former Miss California and American Idol contestant, will play Eliza Schuyler. Other principals include Chris Lee as Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson; Jose Ramos as John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton; Wallace Smith as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison; and Samantha Marie Ware as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds. Joseph Morales will alternate with Cervantes as Hamilton at certain performances.

Somewhat disappointingly, no Chicago-based actors are included in the principal cast announced this morning, though Olivo has recently made her home in Madison, Wisconsin, and Ramos, though now based in New York, is from the Chicago area and attended high school at the Chicago Academy for the Arts. Casting for the roles of Aaron Burr and George Washington, as well as the ensemble, remains to be announced for the Chicago company, which begins performances September 27 at the PrivateBank Theatre.

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