MADISON, Wis. — Overture Center for the Arts is the next room where it happens.
“Hamilton” is coming to Madison. The show opens Aug. 9 and runs through Aug. 21.
“Hamilton” follows the life of founding father, Alexander Hamilton, kicking off just before the start of the U.S. revolution, which is about the same time he meets his wife, Eliza Schuyler, and her two sisters Angelica and Peggy.
So, what comes next?
Throughout “Hamilton,” the title character works his way up in government and military ranks, helping George Washington free, and later lead, the nation. He gets married, moves a few times, falls in love, has children and feverishly writes his way through it all. Not to mention, he longs for his wife’s sister, has an affair, finds himself in the heat of major political battles, loses his son and watches his life flash before his eyes as he tragically dies dueling his friend-turned-enemy Aaron Burr.
Yes, Hamilton’s life is full of complexities.
Tyler Belo takes on the paired roles of Hercules Mulligan and James Madison in the Angelica Tour of “Hamilton.”
We talked with him ahead of the show’s Wisconsin stop.
Spectrum News 1: Why were you drawn to “Hamilton?”
Belo: It’s been a dream to be able to do the biggest show in the world, to be honest. I saw the original cast back when it just came out. I was still in high school. And I was like, “I need to be in that show,” — to see a show on Broadway that I felt seen by, completely.
They always say it’s the story of America “then” told by what America is “now.” I feel like I was able to accurately represent this story even though I look nothing like James Madison or Hercules Mulligan. I’m able to be around like-minded individuals who feel the same way, and know that they’re making a difference with their art.
Spectrum News 1: What’s your favorite song in “Hamilton?”
Belo: My favorite song in the show is probably “Ten Duel Commandments.” The only other song that I like more is probably “Yorktown,” but that’s a cop out because that’s the one I have my solo in.
Spectrum News 1: Speaking of your role, you play two major characters in the show, which is the norm in this show. What’s that been like to juggle?
Belo: I feel real lucky that these are the two roles I have. At first it was a little scary for me because I didn’t understand … how I could be brawny as Mulligan, and then so much more reserved as Madison. But I realized the amount of energy I can give to show in the first act then allows me to feel more reserved and laid back in the second act.
Naturally, I’m more like Hercules Mulligan — I have a lot of energy. I struggled not bringing that to Madison when I first joined the show [in 2019]. Since the restart, I’ve figured out they’re two sides of the same coin.
Spectrum News 1: You do a lot of work with theater students too. Tell us about what sparked your passion for that.
Belo: I feel like I didn’t have the opportunity to work with people who were in the industry growing up… so I like to be able to give my time to people, to students, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to meet somebody or hear about certain things or get some good information from people who are in the industry at the time — inspiring information — to feel like they can do it too.
I didn’t actually feel like I could do it, until I got closer… meeting people by the time I was 20-, 21-years old. It wasn’t until then that it felt like a true possibility because before then, it just seemed like a dream.
Spectrum News 1: With that in mind, what would you say to these kids you’re working with, or the ones who see you on stage and want to be you one day, but aren’t sure if they can do it?
Belo: I was the same. If they believe in themselves, that they can do it at an earlier age, then anything can be theirs. We’re all the same. All it takes is the belief that you can do it. You should really follow your passion, no matter what.
Spectrum News 1: What’s the significance of having a cast of primarily people of color showing this story from a different perspective?
Belo: It’s huge. [We’re] playing people that we are truly not really like, but we’re able to portray them in a way that’s relatable, that’s true and true to ourselves. That’s why the show stands the test of time… It’s beautiful. I don’t think there are very many shows that are able to highlight diversity the same way that “Hamilton” can.