It's a few days after Philadelphia native Leslie Odom Jr. won a Best Actor Tony for his portrayal of Aaron Burr in “Hamilton,” beating out the hip-hop Broadway musical's creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, when his June-released debut album reached the No. 1 spot on the iTunes Jazz chart.
All of this is happening right before he heads home to perform at Philly's July Fourth celebration, and leaves the hallowed “Hamilton” on July 9. So the first thing we want to know from the 34-year-old singer/actor was: Could he hook us up with some Hamilton tickets?
"I've got three weeks to get you in, and they're tough, man, but I know a guy," says Odom with a big laugh.
Mention how weird it must have been to win the Tony over Miranda, a man more brother than co-star, and Odom agrees it was a tempered victory. "Still, it was Team Hamilton. I was rooting for one of us and would've applauded if either of us won," he says. "Half of what I do as Burr comes from looking into Lin's eyes."
Leaving "Hamilton" next week was not an easy decision for the longtime theater and television thespian, despite it being Odom's decision to move on from his six-days-a-week gig.
“It is scary,” he admits. “'Hamilton' is the first job I've had with job security in my life. I'm not used to regularity. So, if anything is bittersweet, it’s me leaving ‘Hamilton.' I will miss these people and I will miss that role."
Luckily, Odom has the security of his new gig as a jazz crooner with “Leslie Odom Jr.,” an album first produced four years ago and given bright, additional orchestral touches by his new record label, S-Curve. "Everyone feels underrated — until they're not," he laughs. "I am so happy that people are catching on now."
Odom mentions recording a handful of new jazz and showtunes for this album as well as gathering up material for his next album. "We're never about rushing, but this feels good," he adds. "It's taken me 15 years in this business to achieve success. I'm devoted to seeing what we can create in that space and what opportunities we can procure."
And if another "Hamilton"-sized Broadway opportunity came his way, would he eschew it?