Kumiko’s Asian American Theatre Trip

Hamilton Broadway

Day 3

Road trip back to NYC and en route a very enlightening conversation with Leslie Isshi one of the founders of CAATA – the Consortium of Asian American Theatres & Artists designed to bring the very many and varied Asian American Theatre companies together to meet, share, debate and make the future of Asian American work. Very interested to hear about the new Arts Equity and Diversity work they are pioneering with theatre people in the US. Involving workshop and facilitation methods to challenge notions of privilege – I think we could have a lot to learn from this. Bill Rauch sounds like the sort of leader every theatre should have. He’s AD at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and his humanistic vision for theatre is an inclusive one with equitable representation and diversity on stage.

To cap the night I manage to secure tickets for the hottest show in town – Hamilton. The most amazing musical to hit Broadway – so people are saying. Not having ever seen a musical on Broadway in my life and not being a musical aficionado I can’t say but I can say I’m a musical convert. It was a fantastic night, the energy and music was so exciting, lyrics when I could follow them (took my aged ear some tuning into) were brilliant, spot on. Funny, sad, truthful and illuminating. It was a joy to see a multi talented cast made up of Black, Hispanic and Asian (Philippa Soo) portray this slice of 18th century American history. Hip-hop music is used but also other forms of music; pop, soul, rock you name it but it’s the spirit of hip-hop that makes this piece sing. The tag line for the show is “This is the story of America then, told by America now”. I would love to see it again and will search out the music to get to know and hear every word of those lyrics– it will have to come to London at some point soon.