“Hamilton” Touring Company Actor Visits Wauwatosa West


Olivia Veit

Edred Utomi, who plays the role of Alexander Hamilton in the Angelica Tour’s version of the show “Hamilton”, visited Wauwatosa West to answer student questions.

Annabelle Wooster

Hamilton Touring Company Actor Visits Wauwatosa West

From acting during the pandemic, his most idolized figures, gender identity within the professional theatre community, his pre-show ritual, and even his PS5, Hamilton actor, Edred Utomi, covered it all while answering student questions during his visit to Wauwatosa West’s Theater.

Utomi is a part of Broadway Plus, the company responsible for getting him in touch with Wauwatosa West while performing in Milwaukee. They worked with West Theatre Director, David Steffan, to arrange a Q & A with students from the Theatre, Orchestra, Band, and Choir programs.

“I think the Q & A format was great because it gave him a chance to talk about a huge range of things in his career and students got the chance to ask things he may not have thought to address,” said junior Lexi Pitcher, a Trojan Player and member of the West Orchestra.

Utomi plays the lead role of Alexander Hamilton in the Angelica Tour of the musical Hamilton. Despite his late start to theatre, and his first intentions of just “getting an easy A”, Utomi was inspired from the start.

“I started in highschool, which is late by a lot of peoples’ standards….I started my freshman year and my junior year we got a new teacher. She really inspired all of us to do something with our lives” said Utomi. 

At the time, Utomi was also running track and contemplating the possibility of pursuing a career as a professional athlete. 

“I was also doing track at the time. I was running hurdles. I’ve always dreamed big and so I was like ‘should I try to be in the Olympics, or should I try to be a movie star’ and have that career in acting” he explained. 

After going back and forth, all it took was one live performance to hook him forever.

“I saw the touring production of In the Heights…and I was like ‘I want to do that. I see people who look like me for once, I hear people who sound like me for once’. Back then, there really wasn’t a lot for me. I didn’t even know this type of thing was possible” said Utomi. 

Utomi finished getting his degree in communications, but because his college didn’t have a musical theatre major, he didn’t start exploring that career choice until after he graduated. But once he dove in, there was no going back.

“And then I fell in love with it and I started doing shows professionally. Five years later, here we are” he said. 

Utomi then moved to New York City, got an agent, and began working; getting himself recognized and noticed anywhere he could.

“I had recently moved to New York and got a new agent. He was like ‘What do you want to be seen for?’ and I was like ‘Hamilton’ because it’s Hamilton, like obviously… So he sent me in and at my initial audition I had to learn a whole bunch of songs for Washington, Burr, and Hamilton. I went in and sang all of this material for these three characters…and then essentially you just move up the train” Utomi explained. 

After many auditions and a final call that felt like a dream, he secured the role of Alexander Hamiton.

“I go home, I take a nap because I haven’t slept in two weeks, and while I’m sleeping I get a phone call and I pick it up, but I was in rem sleep, I was deep asleep”. The call was from the casting director informing Utomi that he booked the part. “I hang up and the I (really) wake up and then I was like ‘Was that a dream?’” 

After confirming his casting with his agent, Utomi called his family. Many of them didn’t even know he auditioned for the role in the first place.

“I call my family. I hadn’t told my family that I was auditioning for it, because it was still auditioning and also its Hamilton, like there was no way that I thought I was going to book it. It’s only my third week here (in New York City). I don’t need to get my hopes up” he said when reflecting on his experience processing the news of his new role. 

After the initial excitement, Utomi got right down to work and started touring with his company and cast. They have visited Arizona, Washington D.C., Virginia, Colorado and finish up their time here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this Sunday. 

After explaining all of this to students, Utomi finished answering questions, did a short performance, and took pictures with the students. 

“When I took a photo with him I was like ‘I am taking a photo with someone that is kind of famous’. I can’t wait to see where he goes with theatre and acting. Best way to spend an hour!” said junior, Mari Scheuber.

Above all, Utomi stressed the importance of finding what makes you happy, setting goals, and working hard. 

“It’s believing in yourself when others don’t. I’m just a kid who grew up in Vegas who had dreams of being on a big stage. I truly believe that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”