‘Hamilton’ on Disney+: Who Gives the Best Performance Among the Original Broadway Cast?
Five years have passed since tunes like “My Shot” and “The Room Where It Happens” conquered the national conversation. But now that Hamilton is on Disney+, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical is as popular as ever. The filmed stage performance features the original Broadway cast. And while every actor delivers, here’s our ranking of the top 10 Hamilton performances.
10. Anthony Ramos (John Laurens/Philip Hamilton)
As both Alexander Hamilton’s best friend and his son, Ramos exhibits a tremendous range. He nails the precise vocals of the show and is at the center of his emotional moments. But Hamilton doesn’t give him enough room to outshine his castmates. Thankfully, the upcoming film adaptation of Miranda’s In the Heights puts Ramos firmly in the lead.
9. Okieriete Onaodowan (Hercules Mulligan/James Madison)
One of the most underrated members of the Hamilton ensemble, Onaodowan has the tricky task of supporting his fellow actors. Aside from a thrilling moment midway through “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down),” his performance is far more muted. Still, Onaodowan leaves an impression, which says a lot for what he does with his role.
8. Jasmine Cephas Jones (Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds)
The whole joke behind “The Schuyler Sisters” is how inconsequential Peggy is to the story. Truly, if that role was all Cephas Jones had to do in Hamilton, she might have slipped further down this list. But in act two, she breaks out soaring vocals for the smoky “Say No to This.” As Maria Reynolds, she bounces back in a big way, and it only takes a single number.
7. Jonathan Groff (King George III)
The top seven performances on our list all received Tony Award nominations. That’s a testament to the strength of the Hamilton cast. And when the show debuted, Groff was arguably the most recognizable. Thanks to his work on Glee and Frozen, the actor already has a passionate fan base. His hilarious, sporadic appearances in Hamilton only build on that.
6. Christopher Jackson (George Washington)
Jackson was already close with Miranda before Hamilton debuted. The actor featured in the stage production of In the Heights. And it’s easy to see why Miranda thought of Jackson to play Washington. From the moment he arrives on screen, he commands the stage just as he does the troops. Plus, “Right Hand Man” and “One Last Time” give him some standout songs.
5. Lin-Manuel Miranda (Alexander Hamilton)
Only in the second half of our list do we finally get to the title character. That’s not to imply Miranda’s performance in Hamilton is anything less than stellar. The actor tackles the material with apparent ease. But ultimately, Miranda’s creation of the show impresses more than what he does onstage. Besides, few actors could steal the spotlight from our top four if they tried.
4. Daveed Diggs (Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson)
The first Tony winner on our list, Diggs emerged as a breakout star of Hamilton. His rapid-fire rapping on “Guns and Ships” and “Washington on Your Side” make him vocally unmatched. And his swagger particularly as Jefferson makes for some of the most crowd-pleasing moments. The only downside is how little of the emotional content he gets to play with.
3. Phillipa Soo (Eliza Hamilton)
Playing a supportive wife is often a disappointing role for a female star. But thankfully, the show gives Eliza a lot of attention. After all, she becomes the title character of Hamilton by the end. And Soo wrings every last bit of warmth, strength, and humor out of the role. “Helpless” and “Burn” alone paint a tragic, powerful story. Eliza is essentially the heart of the show.
2. Renée Elise Goldsberry (Angelica Schuyler)
“Satisfied” guaranteed Goldsberry would rank high on our list. But even that complex number aside, the actor brings a lot to a role that could have fallen flat in lesser hands. On the page, Angelica’s story doesn’t really impact the rise and fall of Alexander. So the fact that Goldsberry makes the eldest Schuyler sister a Tony-winning Hamilton favorite is mind-boggling.
1. Leslie Odom Jr. (Aaron Burr)
“Wait for It.” “Dear Theodosia.” “The Room Where It Happens.” Odom gets so much time in the spotlight it’s easy to forget he isn’t technically playing the lead. As Alexander’s decades-long rival, the Tony winner delivers a tour-de-force performance that contrasts and parallels the title character. His Burr holds the show together with a compelling portrait of muted ambition.