Among all the challenging things about playing the lead role of “Hamilton,” there’s this: You gotta sell the high-energy “My Shot” right out of the gate.
“It’s the hardest number in the show,” says Joseph Morales, who plays Alexander Hamilton in the second national tour of the hit musical. The song establishes Hamilton’s brilliance, and it famously took Lin-Manuel Miranda a year to write.
Morales and Nik Walker, who plays Aaron Burr, lead the cast of the national tour of “Hamilton,” which plays a sold-out run April 11 through May 6 at downtown Salt Lake City’s Eccles Theater.
Before the show opens, Morales and Walker will drop some backstage knowledge at a Tribune event Monday, April 9, at 7 p.m. at the Grand Theatre in Salt Lake City. Tickets are $12 for newspaper subscribers ($20 for others, which includes three months of a digital subscription).
Both actors are returning to Salt Lake City stages after stints at Pioneer Theatre Company.
Morales played Usnavi, another Miranda-penned-and-created role, in the theater’s 2012 production of “In The Heights,” taking up the part again after starring in the musical’s first national tour.
Walker played Tom Collins in PTC’s 2011 production of “Rent.” The Boston-raised, New York-based actor says between every role, he asks his agent what he can audition for at Pioneer.
Performing “Hamilton” eight shows a week is a dramatic feat, Walker says. “Vocally it isn’t as hard as I thought,” says the classically trained actor. “Physically, emotionally and mentally — it’s exhausting. This show asks all of you. You cannot hold anything back.”
In rehearsal, Morales says the director gave the touring cast this advice: “It’s like we’re chefs. And every night we’re cooking a meal, it doesn’t matter what the meal was like last night or tomorrow. But every night, people come expecting a great meal.”
Meet the cast
Joseph Morales, who plays Alexander Hamilton, and Nik Walker, who plays Aaron Burr, will share behind-the-scenes stories with Tribune arts writer Ellen Fagg Weist. The Tribune event and Q&A will be at 7 p.m. April 9 at the Grand Theatre, 1575 S. State St., Salt Lake City. Tickets are $20 for subscribers ($12 for Tribune subscribers). Visit https://bit.ly/2Grksbk for ticket information.