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Brian d'Arcy James in Hamilton
Photograph: Joan MarcusBrian d'Arcy James

An original cast member returns to Hamilton next month

Adam Feldman
Written by
Adam Feldman

He'll be back!

When Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton moved to Broadway in 2015 after its initial run at the Public Theater, it brought along most of its Off Broadway cast—with the notable exception of Brian d'Arcy James, who had originated the small but plummy role of England's King George III but who was committed to play the lead in another Broadway musical, Something Rotten! His replacement, Jonathan Groff, brought a delightful camp cheekiness to the part, and earned a Tony nomination for his efforts; his successor, Rory O'Malley, played the role in a similar vein. But to many who saw James's less queeny King, his take remains definitive.

Now Broadway audiences will get a chance to see James's King for themselves. Starting April 14, he will join the cast at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, replacing SNL alum Taran Killam, who has played the role since January.

Broadway fans will recall that James has been in this situation before. In 2008, he costarred in the Off Broadway production of Next to Normal at Second Stage, but could not be in the superior Broadway version because he was busy starring in Shrek: The Musical; as with Hamilton, however, he wound up returning to his role later in Next to Normal's run.

A new batch of Hamilton tickets just went on sale this week for performances from November through next March, but given the rapid turnover in King George's heavy cape there's no guarantee that James will still be in the part at that time. If you're set on seeing him, take a shot at the Hamilton lottery.

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