It’s not easy playing the lead in one of Broadway’s most famous shows, but that’s what Julius Thomas III loves the most about the role of Alexander Hamilton.
“Hamilton starts from the bottom and works his way all the way up into the founding of our nation, and then he loses everything,” says Thomas. “I don’t want to give any spoilers away if there’s somebody who’s been living under a rock and doesn’t know the story of Hamilton, but there’s so many parts of his life that I get to go through and that’s the most fun and exhilarating part. It’s so wide and varied. It never gets boring.”
The North American Tour of Hamilton stops in Edmonton at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium from June 21 to July 10 featuring the “And Peggy” cast. The 2016 Tony Award-winning Best Musical tells the story of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Written and composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical received a record breaking 16 Tony Award nominations and, with 11 triumphs. won the second most Tonys in the award show’s history.
Thomas has done seven tours with the cast of Hamilton, but his love for theatre goes back to high school. Looking for something to do after school, he was between track and cross country before auditioning for the school’s musical on a whim. He got the lead and the rest was history. He studied fine arts with a concentration in theatre in Kansas before moving to Chicago to kickstart his career, landing roles in Broadway shows and on national tours including The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Xanadu, Shrek and Motown the Musical. In 2017, he was booked for Hamilton as a standby for Aaron Burr, King George III and Hamilton.
“We were in Minneapolis at the time, and I’d been doing Hamilton at that point as the standby for probably about six months, and I think that somebody just noticed my hard work and decided that it would be a good idea to let me read for another one of the companies,” says Thomas. “They were having the ‘And Peggy’ company go out to Puerto Rico, and Lin-Manuel Miranda was going to rejoin us and reprise his Tony-Award winning role. And they asked me if I wanted to take over after he was done. And I said absolutely.”
Thomas has over 700 performances of Hamilton under his belt, but his time is coming to an end as he prepares to take his final bow in eight weeks after the show passes through Calgary and Seattle. But before then, he plans to take advantage of experiencing the wonders of each city he stops in, including Edmonton.
“I’m going to find the local favourites and I have to have some doughnuts, try some good restaurants, whatever the amazing fare is,” says Julius. “And then just sort of experiencing the people. I have found the people in Vancouver to be really lovely and I’m looking forward to meeting some folks in Edmonton and Calgary.”
Be in the room where it happens when Hamilton plays at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium from June 21 to July 10. Tickets start at $84.
Forty tickets for each performance will be available for $10 through the #HAM4HAM digital lottery. The lottery will begin each Friday and close the following Thursday for the upcoming week’s performances. You must use the Hamilton app to enter the lottery.