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Arts Hot Ticket: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Hamilton’ raps into Salt Lake City

April 11, 2018 GMT

According to Leslie Odom Jr., who played Aaron Burr in the original Broadway production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s breakaway historical hit “Hamilton,” “You never know if something is going to be successful, you just follow your gut, and you follow your passion.”

That’s the story behind “Hamilton,” which is now showing to sold-out crowds at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City.

In a 2016 interview with the Daily Herald, Odom Jr. explained that a lot of the show’s original Broadway cast started with it off-Broadway and without much financial compensation, all because they felt passionate about its message.

“None of us were dying to be part of ‘Hamilton’ because we thought it was going to get us Tony Awards,” he said, before comparing it to another of his passion productions, the Broadway musical “Rent.” “We wanted to be a part of (‘Hamilton’) because it made me feel like ‘Rent’ made me feel. ... And so we were following that feeling the whole way.”

“Hamilton,” which plays at the Eccles through May 6, has arrived in Salt Lake City as a part of the Broadway at the Eccles program, and is in such high demand that tickets to every performance sold out almost immediately after becoming available.

The musical, which tells the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton through rap and song, made its off-Broadway debut in January 2015 before transferring to Broadway that August.

The show and its cast have since gone on to win countless awards, most notably including nearly a dozen Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, a Grammy and a Billboard Music Award.

The show touches on a variety of topics pertinent to today’s social and political atmosphere with an emphasis on immigration and multiculturalism, and is known for fusing Broadway power with hip-hop music.

Though the tickets released to the Salt Lake performances are long-since sold out, there are still ways to see the show while it’s in town, including a digital drawing. For a full list of showtimes and more details on the drawing, visit broadway-at-the-eccles.com/Hamilton.

— Kari Kenner