Hamilton: Leslie Odom Jr. dedicates final shows
On the last day of his run in Broadway’s Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. dedicated his final performances to Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, the victims of the fatal Dallas police shootings, and the terrorist attack at the Orlando gay nightclub Pulse.
“For me, today is for Alton, & his children, & the struggle. For Orlando, & Philando, & the slain officers in Dallas,” Odom began in a series of tweets, using the hashtag for Black Lives Matter. “The most profound legacy of [Hamilton] will be that it has set a table for strangers to connect, to have meaningful conversations.”
He continued, “[Hamilton] has been our common ground. I am excited and cautiously optimistic for a real and lasting spiritual awakening amongst us. May the conversation continue. I’ll see you out here in these streets. Onward. We have work to do. Love. Forever.”
Sterling and Castile were two black men fatally shot by police in separate encounters earlier this week. Their deaths sparked various protests, including one in Dallas on Thursday, where five police officers were killed by a sniper.
Odom, who won a Tony for his performance as Aaron Burr in the Broadway production, recently addressed the incidents involving Sterling and Castile. “‘What’s going on?’ Hundreds of years. In America. This has been happening for HUNDREDS of years. Cell phones just make it harder to ignore,” he tweeted at the time. “The inhumanity is RIFE. There are hard conversations coming. Healing is on the other side of some very difficult conversations.”
The actor now makes his exit from Hamilton on the same day as Phillipa Soo and its creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda. During his Tony acceptance speech for best actor in a musical earlier this year, Odom addressed Miranda, saying, “God bless you. You’ve given us a new vision of what’s possible.”