I revisited “Hamilton” for the third time earlier this week (Dec. 21) at the Blaisdell Concert Hall,  experiencing a different Alexander Hamilton, Tre Frazier; another Eliza Schuler, Emma Claye; and a new George Washington, Ellis C. Dawson III.

It was a half-full house, on a week night, and I hope the empty seats get filled in the coming weeks since “Hamilton” runs through Jan. 29.

Tre Frazier

Simply put, it’s a pleasure to experience different performers since cast members have days off. So  it matters little who’s doing a role. It was my third time here watching this incredible show … and three earlier viewings in New York and Chicago. I never tire of seeing something I like, over and over.

A touring company like this one, dubbed “And Peggy,” commonly will have cast adjustments and a high bar to contend with, but in reality, anyone cast in any role must be capable of working up to the level  established by the original New York company that originally showcased Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The understudies, like the aforementioned, are vital for a big production like “Hamilton.” They fill in for principals, who get a night or day off from the tight schedule, not only in tours like this cast but in sit-down shows anchored in such markets as Broadway and the West End. Understudies provide a valuable role and doing leads bolster their profiles.

A standing ovation, for “Hamilton,” at Blaisdell Concert Hall.

When you attend a show, here or elsewhere, that inserted white sheet in your playbill will list alternates filling in for the regular leads. Since you don’t know traveling casts, you won’t know who’s principal or who’s understudy, so just soak in the performances. Better yet, revisit the show and see others in action. You won’t be disappointed…remember, understudies matter. …

Broadway grosses, week ending Dec. 16

It’s a toasty Christmas for “The Music Man,” which grosses $3.255 million last week. You might thing the No. 1 hit featuring Hugh Jackman hit the cast is chirping, “It’s a Most Wonderful World.”

No. 2 was “The Lion King,” earning $2.449 million. Its anthem just might be, “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

No. 3 was “Hamilton,” pulling in $2.255  million. Its shot could be, “Joy to the World.”

Lea Michele

No. 4 was “Wicked,” logging $1.159 million. Its bewitching popularity merits a bouncy ditty, so why not “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”?.

No. 5 is a  newbie in the million dollar club, “Funny Girl,” amassing $2.005 million. The thematic “Jingle Bell Rock” could apply here, since the cash registers have been ringing like crazy since Lea Michele became Fanny Brice.

The listing is courtesy The Broadway League:

And that’s Show Biz. …


  1. Hi Wayne,
    Greetings from backstage of Hamilton. Rumor has it that 6 people are leave the show at the end of the Honolulu run. One has already left. The show goes from Honolulu to Toronto at the end of January for 6 months! Most challenging show I’ve ever worked on (costumes) but also the best! Happy Holidays! P.S. One correction, “Lion King” was here for 3 months and then 2 months making it the longest show to come here. It also broke all Disney and Blaisdell box office records.

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