Students visit the room where it happens during ‘Hamilton: An American Musical’


Geraldine Suniga

“Hamilton: An American Musical” cast members line up on stage for applause at the end of the play at the Pantages Theater on Feb. 9.

Valeria Luquin and Nathalie Miranda

Attending one of Broadway’s most popular musicals is an experience that many students across the Los Angeles area, like junior Jenica Felicitas, can now add to their own personal history books.

“It’s definitely way different compared to watching it on Disney+,” Felicitas said. “It does pump a lot of adrenaline in you even though you’re not on stage. You really get to feel the moment and see more emotion.” 

On Feb. 9, a mix of 36 juniors and seniors from Daniel Pearl Magnet High School attended a matinee of the popular musical “Hamilton: An American Musical” at the Pantages Theater through the Hamilton Education Program (EduHam). In order to attend, juniors in Brenda Helfing’s history class analyzed primary sources about the American Revolutionary era and created and performed an original piece that portrayed a historical figure or event from that time period. Originally, Helfing was given 60 tickets but not all of her students wanted to participate. 

“We didn’t have enough 11th graders who were interested, so some 12th graders were invited since they missed out on it last year,” Helfing said. 

Like with many other businesses right now, the pandemic has had a big impact on musical theater. New regulations were put in place at the Pantages Theater, such as showing proof of vaccination, wearing masks inside the theater at all times and no eating or drinking inside. In addition, there were no student performances this time around. Normally, one student from each school would perform their original piece on stage for the packed theater. Despite all of the restrictions, students were still full of excitement to watch the musical.

“I loved seeing the musical live,” junior Elizabeth Rose said. “It’s such a different experience seeing it live. I’ve been a ‘Hamilton’ fan for a few years so getting to watch it was like a dream come true.”

After the show, there was a short Q and A with cast members Julian Ramos (Charles Lee and ensemble), Yvette Lu (swing), Nicholas Christopher (Aaron Burr) and Simon Longnight (Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson). The conversation ranged from questions about their favorite song to perform to whether being in “Hamilton” has boosted their civic engagement. 

“One of my favorite lines is ‘If you stand for nothing…what do you fall for,’” Ramos said. “Being part of the show and being part of this company and the world of Hamilton has given me so much focus on what I’m really trying to say to the world and how I’m trying to say it.”