Take the Fresno-area ‘Hamilton’ poll: Who should win the Jonathan Groff Great Expectorations award?

And now, in acknowledgement of having an actual blockbuster cultural event for the Independence Day weekend after months of quarantine inertia, and also in honor of Dominic Grijalva, who created the stunning piece of artwork, titled “Legacy,” you see above this text, I present the Fresno-Does-“Hamilton” Interactive List of Things That Would Be of Absolutely No Interest to Lin-Manuel Miranda:


It’s all about the spit, Your Majesty: Jonathan Groff ejects a big, moist loogie during the song “You’ll Be Back,” and it’s all the talk on social media. The volume and viscosity of Groff’s spray of phlegm is grotesque and yet also strangely reverential, as if he hacked up a quarter of his lung in a personal sacrifice to the gods of live theater.

My question: Who is the biggest spitter among Fresno-area thespians? Is there some enthusiastic articulator known for his or her expectoral exuberance? I try not to sit in the front row in any theater, so I’m not always privy to obvious displays of slobber, but it’s a well-known fact that actors — especially singing, enunciating ones in “My Fair Lady” — are prone to spraying in ways that would make a coronavirus researcher squirm. Local thespians: I want you to tell me your nominees for the Jonathan Groff of Fresno. I need names, people.


“Hamilton” will make it to Roger Rocka’s or Selma Arts Center one day. If you could bring together your dream cast for the top six roles, say, what names would make your cut?

•  Hamilton:

•  Burr:


•  Eliza:

•  Washington:

• Angelica:

•  King George


Speaking of casting: What’s your own dream “Hamilton” role and why? (Anyone can answer, not just folks with the acting and vocal chops to pull it off. This is a fantasy question.)

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Closed-captions are my friend: I’ve listened to the “Hamilton” cast album many times, so I’m familiar with the lyrics, but even then, I found myself completely enamored with the chance to read them on my screen as I watched the Disney streaming version. What would you think if all Broadway shows were supertitled, like operas?

Answer any or all questions by leaving a comment on this post, on my Facebook post, or emailing me at (Self-nominations, especially for the spitting award, are welcome.) I’ll offer an update (along with my own answers) in a few days.

More about Dom’s artwork: Grijalva, the noted Selma-raised graphic designer, actor and director, is product manager at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s TeeRico, the playwright’s officially licensed merchandise store. Dom writes, “This new collage was six months in the making. I hadn’t worked in this style since the “Hunchback” poster almost two years ago so when I set out to do this I was extremely nervous, but today I’m so happy and proud to finally share it in honor of the streaming premiere of this incredible show. Inspired by props and set pieces from the original Broadway production, I chose to recreate the iconic Revolutionary uniform for @teerico_linman’s exclusive release. Try to find all the pieces.”

Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

Comments (1)

  • Marisa Sanchez-Bennett

    Here’s my Central Valley Hamilton Dream Cast:
    A. Ham: Adam Chavez 🤩
    A. Burr: Dominic Grijalva 🤩
    Eliza: Marisa Sanchez-Bennett 😏
    Angelica: Kay Wilkins 🤩
    Washington: Harrison Mills 🤩
    King George: Jeremy Hitch 😍

    … a girl can dream, right 😬

    Oh, and, I’ve seen some spit FLYYYY from Mr. William Bishop 😳


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