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Like everyone else, I thought “Hamilton” was wonderful when I saw it two weeks ago in San Francisco. In the row where I sat, people sang along. When the big show-stoppers came — “The Room Where It Happens,” or “Helpless,” you could feel the excitement and pace.

Without knowing in advance, I was given a columnist’s gift that Thursday night — the local angle. The actor who played Hamilton was Ryan Vasquez, a San Jose native, graduate of Bellarmine College Prep and alumnus of the much-vaunted Children’s Musical Theater San Jose.

Ryan Vasquez

Vasquez was very good in the lead: He’s a better singer than Lin-Manuel Miranda, though maybe not with the same hip-hop street presence. Above all, he is versatile: The young actor has also played Burr and Washington.

I couldn’t reach Vasquez for an interview — the show has already moved on to Los Angeles — but in an extensive playbill interview, the Bellarmine graduate said he could not recommend his high school enough as a breeding ground for those “who understand compassion and recognize the need to see the world through others’ eyes.” And he gracefully thanked CMT for early lessons. (His first show, at age 8, was “Schoolhouse …read more

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment

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