Donald Webber Jr., portraying Aaron Burr in the new San Francisco run of “Hamilton,” took to social media on Friday, thanking first responders after a medical emergency caused a panic in the theater that made national news.
When appearing his first performance in the title role of “Hamilton” on Broadway in November 2016, he was happy not to make the news — it was the night vice president-elect Mike Pence attended, causing a stir about immigration.
Webber says both parts are satisfying. He got to be “very emotional out loud” as Alexander Hamilton, but also enjoys the simmering volcano that’s Burr, whose character he says his summed up in his line: “Talk less, smile more, Don’t let them know what you’re against or what you’re for.”
Taking a break from previews last week, Webber and his cast mates in the third national tour of the musical theater behemoth met with reporters last week at the Orpheum, where the show continues through Sept. 8.
Unlike the initial run here in 2017, tickets are available, according to presenter SHN, which is offering a daily lottery of 44 tickets, at $10 each, for every performance.
Rick Negron, a veteran of “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s other hit “In The Heights,” is new to the show. The Glendale resident is OK that it took two years for him to get cast, in part because he got to appear in the recent Puerto Rico “Hamilton” run, where Miranda briefly reprised the title role. Playing King George, who’s onstage for just 10 minutes, Negron says, “What I have to do is comic gold. I’d have to work hard to mess it up.”
Julius Thomas III, a native of Gary, Ind., steps into the title role, after appearing on tour as Philip Hamilton, as well as understudying for both Hamilton and Burr. Before a turn on Broadway in “The Scottsboro Boys,” where Miranda saw him, his first big part was in high school, playing Joseph in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
He calls Hamilton the ultimate role: “I get to use every part of myself,” he says, adding that he didn’t mind not appearing during the recent hyped Puerto Rico run: “I was at the beach quite a bit.”
Rubén Carbajal, another “In The Heights” alum and veteran of the first “Hamilton” tour, reprises the dual role of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton, the beefy part (both characters really “stand for something”) he initially wanted in 2016 when he went to an open call with some 800 actors and made it through 10 auditions.
Sabrina Sloan, reprising her role as Angelica Schuyler, also has “In The Heights” tour credits; she estimates that about 30 percent of “Hamilton” actors also have been in “In The Heights.”
The Southern California native and Northwestern University graduate — a veteran only of hit shows such as “Motown: The Musical” and “Hairspray” — calls “Hamilton” “insane” and “mind-blowing” and still finds new nuances in the character.
On the other hand, Simon Longnight, who graduated from University of Michigan’s theater department in 2018, has his first major professional gig in “Hamilton” playing the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. Initially a ballet dancer before he turned to theater, he’d never seen “Hamilton” until he had the part booked.
During his audition process, Longnight became pals with Brandon Louis Armstrong, also new to “Hamilton,” in the roles of Hercules Mulligan and James Madison. Armstrong, a Southern California native who played the donkey in the musical “Shrek,” also maintains a recording career, making experimental R&B.
Armstrong believes he and his fellow actors’ unique qualities are the reason why “Hamilton” will endure, because Miranda and the creative team want all of the performers to bring their own artistry to the complex, brilliantly written roles.
IF YOU GO
Where: Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market St., S.F.,
When: 7 p.m. most Tuesdays, Thursdays-Fridays, 1 and 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, 1 p.m. Sundays; closes Sept. 8
Tickets: $194 to $686
Note: A lottery offers 44 tickets at $10 each (two per customer) two days before each performance; visit hamiltonmusical.com/lottery or download the app: hamiltonmusical.com/app to enter. Brandon Louis ArmstrongDonald Webber Jr.HamiltonJulius Thomas IIILin-Manuel MirandaOrpheumRick NegronRubén CarbajalSabrina SloanSHNSimon LongnightTheatertour