Bloomington residents sang music from the Broadway musical “Hamilton” with performers Thursday night at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater through the sing-a-long event called “Hamiltunes.”
Singers from the Jacobs School of Music, Singing Hoosiers and Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance stood behind the six mic stands on the stage, each playing a different character from the musical. A few members of the Bloomington High School North choir dressed in black sang chorus behind the singers.
Before the show, Mayor John Hamilton addressed the audience and joked about sharing a last name with Alexander Hamilton.
“I mean, what are the chances that you’d be staging a review of songs from the musical 'Hamilton' in a city where the mayor likes to sing musical theater?" Hamilton said.
Hamilton also said the musical’s messages about immigrants were important.
“I can’t agree more with that message of this musical,” Hamilton said. “Ultimately, it’s meant for everyone in our great, multi-colored quilt, immigrant-filled rainbow of a nation to say, ‘This is our country.’”
The show featured 14 of the musical’s 46 songs, including “Alexander Hamilton,” “My Shot” and “Wait for It.”
“They left out a couple of my favorites,” 13-year-old Katie Summerlot said. “But you know, it’s fine.”
After the singers performed “Alexander Hamilton,” the audience clapped and cheered.
“I think we’re doing alright tonight,” said Joseph Ittoop, who played Alexander Hamilton, after finishing the first song.
The singers danced during each of the songs, with the lyrics projected on a screen behind them. After each song, they explained the context and scene of the next song.
The audience took part in the interactive performance by singing and rapping the songs with the singers on stage, with hundreds of voices filling the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.
Summerlot and her friend Amelia Robinson, 12, said they planned on singing along throughout the entire performance.
“I memorized the whole two-hour musical,” Robinson said.
Hamilton joined the singers on stage for the song “Dear Theodosia.” He sang Alexander Hamilton’s part of the duet with Nathan Carey, who played Aaron Burr. The crowd cheered loudly after the mayor finished his first verse and sang along with him.
The event was put on by the Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement, in partnership with the Jacobs School of Music Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development, the Singing Hoosiers and the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance.
“We’re very proud of the people who are participating in this,” said Ed Comentale, director of the IU Arts and Humanities Council. “It’s an amazing collaboration, and it’s exactly the kind of work that we’ve been supporting throughout the region.”
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