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‘Hamilton’ stars perform free show as part of ‘Broadway at W’


Former "Hamilton" cast member Daniel J. Watts served as host of "Broadway at the W" at the W New York -- Times Square hotel on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. Credit: Jeff Bachner

“Hamilton” is sold out for months and premium tickets are selling at the box office for as much as $998, but a large crowd was able to catch a free concert featuring a handful of “Hamilton” performers on Sunday night at The Living Room of W New York — Times Square, just one street away from the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Barely an hour went by between the concert and the end of the Sunday matinee.

The intimate concert was part of the “Broadway at the W” series. A limited number of $20 reserved seats sold out in advance, but standing room admission was free. “Hamilton” fans started waiting in line for the event in the early afternoon.

Serving as host was Daniel J. Watts, a former “Hamilton” cast member who is now appearing in the Off-Broadway revival of Suzan-Lori Parks’ “The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World.” Watts noted that “Hamilton” is still in the midst of Act One by the time his new show is over and done with.

No songs from the Tony-winning musical were performed. “You’re not getting a free concert of ‘Hamilton’ in a hotel lobby,” Watts told the crowd. The set list was mainly made up of R&B selections, in addition to some older standards.

Participating cast members included Lexi Lawson (Eliza Hamilton), Nicholas Christopher (George Washington), Elizabeth Judd (ensemble), Nik Walker (ensemble) and Hope Easterbrook (ensemble). A surprise special guest was Frenchie Davis, who appeared on Broadway in “Rent” after gaining fame on “American Idol.” In between performances, Watts interrogated the actors in short “hot seat” interviews. He even quizzed Davis on “The Golden Girls” trivia.

“Hamilton” has a long tradition of offering free concert performances. During the first few months of the Broadway run, free performances (dubbed “Ham4Ham”) were held outside the stage door as the hard-to-win lottery for $10 front row tickets was being held. They usually united Lin-Manuel Miranda with other well-known Broadway artists.

On Thursday afternoon, a livestreamed concert was held at the Richard Rodgers Theatre to celebrate the release of “The Hamilton Mixtape,” which included performances from Questlove and The Roots, Andra Day, Regina Spektor and a reunited Ashanti and Ja Rule. Lin-Manuel Miranda, currently in London, made a video appearance.

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