‘Hamilton’ Makes Return visit to the Benedum; PPG Paints Arena Hosts Journey (Tues., 2/22/22)

HAMILTON by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Touring company at Benedum Center, Feb. 22 – March 13. 

Patrick Walker plays everybody's unfavorite white male authority figure, George III, in the new production of 'Hamilton.' (Photo © Joan Marcus)

Patrick Walker plays everybody’s unfavorite white male authority figure, George III, in the new production of ‘Hamilton.’ (Photo © Joan Marcus)

1) Hamilton stands alone. No other American musical has so quickly or so thoroughly captivated the public, at every level—from highbrow critics and Pulitzer Prize voters, to the legions of kids listening to the OCR on their phones and wearing “Young Scrappy & Hungry” t-shirts. Hamilton opened on Broadway in 2015 and is still running there. The last touring production to visit Pittsburgh came in January of 2019, shortly before the you-know-what. Now Hamilton returns, with the new tour booked into Benedum Center and booked solidly. For tickets, consult your favorite aftermarket source. There are probably several explanations for the musical’s popularity. Alexander Hamilton’s life was filled with both personal and political drama. Writer/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda struck an unusual but resonant chord by telling the story hip-hop style, using actors of Black and nonwhite heritage to portray the white side of America’s heritage. Also, Hamilton is good. See our review of the 2019 production for details. Hamilton is presented as part of the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series at  237 7th St., Cultural District. (M.V.)

A little-noted strong point of 'Hamilton' is the show's dynamic physicality. In the production visiting Pittsburgh as part of the February theater lineup, Joseph Morales plays The Man. (Photo © Joan Marcus)

A little-noted strong point of ‘Hamilton’ is the show’s dynamic physicality. In the production visiting Pittsburgh as part of the February theater lineup, Joseph Morales plays The Man. (Photo © Joan Marcus)

2) “The Wheel in the Sky” keeps on turnin’ and luckily keeps Journey on tour with stops in Pittsburgh.  It’s been over 40 years since the band originally formed, and they haven’t stopped rocking (or believing!) since. Indeed, the band famous for “Don’t Stop Believin’” has been absolutely relentless in their success over the years; to date, their Greatest Hits album has sold more than 15 million copies. Lead singer Steve Perry left the group for a solo career first in the mid-eighties and then again in the nineties. Several other singers have fronted the band. Since 2007 Journey has featured a talented Filipino lead singer, Arnel Pineda, who lead guitarist Neal Schon, saw do an amazing cover of  “Don’t Stop Believin‘” on YouTube and asked him to audition for the band. They were highly impressed and asked him to join Journey. The group is currently working on a double album. Toto joins them as their special guest. 7:30 p.m. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (R.H.)