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Fun facts from backstage at ‘Hamilton’: 20 Things to Know about the national tour at the Saroyan Theatre

Want to know the behind-the-scenes story of “Hamilton”? From Broadway in Fresno, here are 20 Things to Know about the national tour now playing at the Saroyan Theatre:

1.

There are about 25 crew members backstage that run “Hamilton,” With all the cast, managers and other people that help make the show happen, there are nearly 60 people working to make the show happen every night.

2.

It takes thirteen 53-foot trailers to move “Hamilton.”


Related stories: In touring production of ‘Hamilton,’ Julius Thomas III plays the title character with passion, determination and a keen view of how a musical can impact a nation
Also: The Fresno ‘Hamilton’ lottery kicks off today (March 18). Here’s what you need to know.

3.

There are 350-plus lighting instruments in “Hamilton.”

4.

There are over 1,000 light clues in Hamilton. (But luckily a lot of them are automatic, so the SM team does not have to call all of them)

5.

The sound team is utilizing state of the art technology. Some of our speakers can change where sound is physically directed using electronic waves, while some of our others are the first of their kind to be used in production: literally serial #s 001-004.

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6.

More than 500 person days went into engineering, building, painting and automating the set.

7.

Almost all the brick and wood on the set is fake. The brick is mostly made of homasote and vacuform, while the wood is mostly engineered sheet goods that has been textured and painted. But what might surprise people the most is that the back wall and some of the side walls is actually a soft drop expertly painted to look like real brick.

8.

Hamilton’s show deck is only 9 inches tall, but within it are housed all the motors, encoders, drivers and other mechanisms needed to make the turn table work. They all travel within the deck so that we can quickly set up the turn table and ring in every city.

9.

A catwalk flies in at intermission. Did you catch it? Be on the lookout for the subtle change that represents the continued building of America.

10.

There are more than 50 different types of paper props in the show.


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11.

There are more than 20 hidden prop boxes around the set.

12.

Larger props/tables/candle carts fly up and out of the way in the wings throughout the show to make more space for the cast.

13.

Fabric for the costumes are made specifically for the show in France and England. The Ensemble Military wools are hand woven and dyed in England. The show even has its own special color fabric. The camel colors are referred to as HAMIL-TAN. These are referred to as “The Parchment” outfits for the cast.

14.

All the shoes are custom made for each performer.

15.

The Men’s shirts are made by a company called Darcy Clothing, dedicated to the style of Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice

16.

The King’s white wigs are made of Yak Hair

17.

There is a live 10-member orchestra (two keyboards, drums, percussion, bass, guitar, and a string quartet), but not all of them are in the pit. The drummer is in a room just behind the pit in order to give better control over the drum sound. To make sure he knows what’s happening, the drummer gets a live video and audio feed of the show and the conductor. Plus, the conductor gets a live feed of the drummer, so they can stay in sync.

18.

The show travels with a full-time physical therapist that is available before, during and after each performance to make sure our cast is in tip top shape for every show.

19.

There are 14 speakers hidden around the set so that the cast can hear the band playing.

20.

King George’s Crown weighs two and a half pounds and has a microphone hidden inside it.


 


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.

donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com

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