Jeff Spevak previews 'Hamilton' and 'Son House' productions

Apr 22, 2019

Credit rbtl.org

Two shows – one a blockbuster musical, the other a provocative premiere – make the upcoming weeks here one of the most significant stretches ever in Rochester theater. Two shows set in times nearly two centuries apart. But sharing one commonality.

Hamilton: An American Musical has dominated the Broadway scene for a few years now. It’s America’s Founding Fathers, with a mighty twist: a rap and hip-hop musical, with people of color signing the Declaration of Independence. It opens Tuesday, April 23, at the Auditorium Theatre.

Credit gevatheatre.org

Revival: The Resurrection of Son House is a musical commissioned by Geva Theatre Center. It’s the story of blues icon Son House, for whom Rochester plays a significant role. It opens May 1 at Geva.

Rap and hip-hop. The blues. Music genres closely associated with being black in America. The conversation on race has not gone smoothly over the years. WXXI cultural arts contributor Jeff Spevak talks about what these two shows have to say on that issue.

Jeff Spevak, a cultural arts contributor to WXXI, is a Rochester-based writer. His web site is jeffspevak.com.