The top-notch “Hamilton” tour continuing through Feb. 6 at the Schuster Center features Stephanie Jae Park’s lovely portrayal of Eliza Hamilton, the titular character’s devoted wife and legacy-bearer.
Eliza isn’t as flashy as the majority of characters in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s marvelous hip-hop showcase, but Park holds her own with a gentle grace naturally befitting the warm yet low-key role. She particularly conveys Eliza’s varying emotions with great sincerity, providing an initially cheery and smitten disposition upon marrying Alexander (“Helpless”) which ultimately transitions into compelling rage in the aftermath of Alexander’s adultery (“Burn”) and added heartache upon the death of their son Philip (“It’s Quiet Uptown”). Additionally, in the beautiful finale, Park offers a charming moment of reflection when Eliza happily remembers to reveal she started the first private orphanage in New York City.
Previous credits: Park appeared in the Broadway casts of “War Paint” and “The King and I.” She also appeared in the first national tour of “Cinderella” and Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of “Oklahoma!” Her University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music credits include “Rent” and “Les Misérables.”
Thoughts on Eliza: “Eliza is the most perfect, supportive woman she can be, constantly asking what she exactly wants from Alexander and being dismissed here and there,” Park said. “And in ‘Burn,’ we finally get to see the reward of her finally taking the power back. She erases herself from his narrative but that’s the moment she decides to live for herself. I fill the song with justified anger.”
Upcoming project: On Valentine’s Day, Park and her partner Voltaire Wade-Greene, a “Hamilton” original cast member/swing and dance captain, are releasing “Fire to My Air,” an album of original R&B/soul/jazz tunes, with their music group Saffron Lips. “It was our pandemic baby,” she said. “We’ve been working on it for the last two years and we’re excited to finally release it soon.” The debut album, whose lead single is entitled “Cincinnati,” is produced by No Reverse Records. Follow Park on Twitter @stephanieslaypark or @saffronlips.
HOW TO GO
What: “Hamilton: An American Musical”
Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton
When: Through Feb. 6; Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 4 at 8 p.m.; Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Feb. 6 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Length: 2 hours and 50 minutes including a 20-minute intermission
Tickets: Call Ticket Center Stage at 937-228-3630 or visit daytonlive.org.
COVID-19 protocol: Masks are required for patrons over the age of 6
FYI: Be sure to visit daytonlive.org to stay informed of any potential “Hamilton” cancellations before or during its run.
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