A Look at the Chicago Cast of Hamilton (in Video)

Special Features   A Look at the Chicago Cast of Hamilton (in Video) Karen Olivo, Miguel Cervantes, Alexander Gemignani and Ari Afsar are among the leads of the Chicago cast of Hamilton. This handful of video performances from the production’s stars shows what they can do.
Ari Afsar, Karen Olivo, Miguel Cervantes and Alexander Gemignani
Ari Afsar, Karen Olivo, Miguel Cervantes and Alexander Gemignani

MIGUEL CERVANTES, Alexander Hamilton
Miguel Cervantes, who will open the Chicago company in the title role of Alexander Hamilton, made his Broadway debut in 2010 as part of the original company of the Green Day rock musical American Idiot (following a few Off-Broadway credits, including Cam Jansen, and the national tour of ...Spelling Bee). During his time in Idiot, he performed at the Broadway Impact benefit at Joe’s Pub alongside fellow cast member Van Hughes. Watch their cover of Ben Folds Five’s “Kate” below.

Since then he has performed around the New York City concert scene and in the Off-Broadway musical Giant, featuring a score by Michael John LaChiusa, that played New York City’s Public Theater—where Hamilton got its start before transferring to Broadway. Cervantes returned to the Great White Way in If/Then. Watch his performance of Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk’s “Vegas” alongside Greg Hildreth, and hear his big number from Giant, “Jump.”

KAREN OLIVO, Angelica Schyler
Karen Olivo, the Chicago cast’s Angelica Schuyler, is a longtime collaborator and friend of Lin-Manuel Miranda. She originated the role of Vanessa in Miranda’s first Broadway musical In the Heights and won a Tony Award for her performance as Anita in the revival of West Side Story, which featured new lyric translations by Miranda. Watch her performance of “It Won’t Be Long Now” from the fifth anniversary concert of In the Heights and her performance of “America” from when the West Side Story revival cast performed on the Late Show With David Letterman.

Olivo, who also has been seen on Broadway in Rent and Brooklyn, last shared the stage with Miranda and Odom, Jr. in the Encores! Off-Center staging of Jonathan Larson’s tick, tick…BOOM! Although she took a brief hiatus from performing, she returned for tick, tick…BOOM! in 2014 and will reprise her performance as Anita in the Hollywood Bowl production of West Side Story this month. Watch her performance of “Come” from tick, tick…BOOM! below.

ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI, King George III
Alexander Gemignani, the Chicago company’s King George III, made his Broadway debut as John Hinckley in the 2004 production of Assassins. In 2005, he received a Drama Desk nomination for his performance as the Beadle in the revival of Sweeney Todd. Listen to his performance of “Unworthy of Your Love” from Assassins.

Following Sweeney, Gemignani returned to Broadway to headline the 2006 revival of Les Misérables as Jean Valjean. Since then, he has starred in the Broadway productions of Sunday in the Park With George, The People in the Picture and Violet. Watch his performance of “Bring Him Home” from Les Miz at the 2007 Drama Desk Awards.

ARI AFSAR, Eliza Hamilton
Ari Afsar, who will play Eliza Hamilton in the Chicago company, lands one of her first professional musical theatre roles with this production, although she’s frequented the Broadway Sessions cabaret series. She is best known from her brief stint on the reality singing competition American Idol. Watch her audition below, when she was 16 years old.

Afsar, a singer/songwriter from San Diego, CA, was awarded Miss California in 2010 and placed in the top 10 at Miss America. Watch her cover of Sam Smith’s “I’m Not the Only One” and her performance of the Gershwin tune “Summertime” at Broadway Sessions.

Watch videos of the new Broadway Hamilton stars here, and click here for more information on the Chicago casting.