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Arts This Week | September 20, 2018

Arts This Week: 'Hamilton,' 'The Niceties'

Arts This Week | September 20, 2018
Austin Scott and the cast of the touring Broadway production of "Hamilton"
Joan Marcus
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Arts This Week | September 20, 2018

This week, Jared Bowen reviews the touring Broadway production of “Hamilton” and offers his take on the world premiere of “The Niceties.”

“Hamilton,” presented by Broadway in Boston at the Boston Opera House through Nov.18.

Hamilton Tour
The cast of the touring Broadway production of "Hamilton"
Joan Marcus, courtesy of Broadway in Boston

The smash-hit musical “Hamilton” has finally landed in Boston. Following the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton as he ascends to the U.S. Secretary of Treasury, “Hamilton” fuses hip-hop, jazz, and blues elements into a sensational and contemporary take on American history. With music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the original Broadway production of “Hamilton” won 11 Tony Awards in 2016, including Best New Musical. Don't miss the musical Jared calls "masterful and magisterial."

“The Niceties,” presented by Huntington Theatre Company through Oct. 6

The Niceties
Lisa Banes and Jordan Boatman star in "The Niceties"
Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots, courtesy of Huntington Theatre Company

A new play by Eleanor Burgess makes its world premiere at the Huntington Theatre. Directed by Kimberly Senior, “The Niceties” finds the bright, young college student Zoe discussing a term paper with her professor, Janine. Zoe is a young, black female and Janine an older white female. Over the course of discussions about history, narrative, and power, the two women end up on polar opposite sides of an explosive debate that threatens to tear both apart. “Both of these women are offering the very best of an encapsulation of the world as they see it,” says Burgess. “They don't see it the same way, and I think that's more interesting than one of them being wrong. … They have good reason to believe what they believe, and yet both beliefs can't necessarily stand.” Jared says "The Niceties" is "vital viewing, and commendable for swimming in ambiguity that gives the piece richter scale-level resonance."

Excited for Hamilton? Have a hot take on The Niceties? Tell Jared about it on Facebook or Twitter!

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