CHICAGO (CBS) — Excitement is building for theater in Chicago. The Broadway smash Hamilton is set to begin its Windy City run at the end of this month, CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports.
Thousands waited overnight, spending hundreds of dollars for a ticket to the pop culture phenomenon known as Hamilton.
And the fella who will be center stage in the Chicago production admits he feels the heat.
“There’s a lot of expectation. You know, Hamilton is this thing that’s beyond a show, a great show or a great part. It’s become a powerful moving phenomenon across the country,” Miguel Cervantes, who will play Alexander Hamilton.
Cervantes, a Broadway veteran, was humbled when asked to audition for the lead.
“I mean this is Hamilton! This is Hamilton! This is not just a regional production, this is the thing,” he added.
Thomas Kail, director, says Chicago’s production will be unique.
“It’s not bringing New York here. It’s making something for Chicago.”
Kail explains the production tells the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton through Hip-Hop. He says it’s multicultural cast, looking a lot like more America today, draws audiences closer in.
“If we could make a story about then feel like now, then we have eliminated any distance,” Kail said.
Jose Ramos, who plays two featured roles, John Laurens and Philip Hamilton, says this is his first gig. Hamilton is a major milestone for him, since the 22-year-old is coming home to Logan Square. “Huge, huge Puerto Rican family. I am one of about 20 grandchildren.”
Ramos spent his teen years traveling the blue line to the Chicago Academy for the Arts — now his family’s headed downtown to see him in a pop culture phenomenon.
“They have been without me for years,” he said. “Now home. It’s awesome.”
Hamilton opens in Chicago on Sept. 27 at the Private Bank Theater and runs through March. Tickets are sold out until then, but a new block of tickets will be available soon. Find out more about the production on Broadway In Chicago’s website.