This fall, the hottest tickets in town are, without a doubt, the upcoming performances of Hamilton in Boston. Austin Scott, who plays the lead role made famous by Lin-Manuel Miranda in the national tour of the musical, knows just how high expectations are whenever the hit show rolls into a new city, and he’s more than prepared to deliver for the fans in the Hub.
Hamilton-mania hasn’t let up since it debuted in 2015 on Broadway, as the musical has racked up awards and droves of admirers, even winning over fans who’ve only ever heard the show via its Grammy Award-winning album. According to Scott, the secret behind Hamilton’s popularity is two fold. On one hand, he credits Manuel and the show’s creators with putting together a technically brilliant production that’s truly once in a generation. On the other hand, Hamilton’s focus on diversity has helped kick start a creative revolution in the entertainment industry, with more and more projects following in its footsteps by giving voices from all kinds of backgrounds the time to shine in the spotlight.
“It feels like being at the head of a revolution in a lot of ways,” Scott tells Metro. “There’s incredible power and honor and even pressure being in that place.”
“When I booked this, I had just watched the third or fourth year in a row of the Oscars where very few black or people of color were nominated, let alone won,” he adds. “I was just really upset about it all, as was everyone. When I got the call to do this, I was so excited to be apart of the change, to be an instrument of the change that I so much wanted to see.”
Hamilton in Boston: Austin Scott on leading a revolution
In many ways, Hamilton has shown the world of entertainment that projects featuring diverse casts and crews can not only achieve critical success, but also rake in the dough. This year alone, blockbusters like Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians have further proven the economic case for increased diversity in entertainment, and the wave doesn’t seem to be slowing down, despite the politically divisive times facing the nation.
“There’s been so many incredible stories being told by diverse casts,” says Scott. “I’m so excited to see that and be apart of that revolution.”
“Especially right now, given the state of our political system and the world in general, it’s so necessary,” he adds. “It’s this shining light of hope in a world that has a lot darkness right now.”
Of course, diversity alone isn’t the only reason why fans flock to see Hamilton in Boston, Broadway and theaters around the country. At its core, the production offers an intimate portrait of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, one that examines his lighter and loveable sides, as well as his darker, “cut throat” moments.
“Lin once say, ‘It’s like a 14 course meal,'” Scott says of the advice he received from Miranda on taking over the role. “The audience gets to see him over the span of 20 or 30 years of his life. You get to play a man who is an immigrant and in a brand new place and has no friends. And then you get to play a man who goes to war, and a man who falls in love with his wife – and a man who cheats on his wife – and a man who loses his son. There’s so much to sink your teeth into with this role.”
“Balancing those two sides has been an exciting challenge for me,” he adds. “One moment, I want the audience to love him and feel for him and the next moment, maybe to hate him.”
Overall, Scott hopes that audiences will be inspired to lend their voices to the push for more positive cultural changes after seeing Hamilton in Boston.
“You sit there and you feel like, every single night, you’re part of a revolution,” he says. “You’re part of this rollercoaster towards positive change.”
If you go:
Sept. 18-Nov. 18, Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston, boston.broadway.com