Will Leslie Odom Jr. Leave 'Hamilton'? The Musical May Shake Things Up This Summer
Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now in the height of Hamilton's fame. The broadway musical blew us all away in the past year — helped along by the release of the show's soundtrack on iTunes, Spotify, and elsewhere — and fans are quick to tell anyone who will listen why it's such an important production. But, sad news came when sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Lin-Manuel Miranda will be leaving Hamilton, though he has not confirmed the report. So, will fellow star Leslie Odom Jr. leave Hamilton as well, stepping away from the role of Aaron Burr (the longtime friend/rival who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel)?
Well, for now it's unclear. According to New York Daily News, the principal cast members of Hamilton all signed contracts that end this summer — on July 9 to be exact, which is likely to be Miranda's last day as the founding father without a father, though he has not announced his last show and his press representative told the newspaper, “"There is nothing to confirm at this time.”. Additionally, while speaking to New York Daily News, Odom said, "I'm open to whatever's best for this glorious show." That seems to sound promising, right? Hamilton has been a successful musical — just take a look at their record-breaking number of Tony Award nominations — and Odom himself was nominated for the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical award.
Still, that doesn't necessarily mean the actor will stay on with the show after his contract is up. In an interview earlier this year with Broadway.com, Odom spoke about his experience with Hamilton and said he's looking forward to "the opportunity to take a step back and learn." So, the end of his Hamilton contract could mean the actor will move on and work on other projects. In fact, Odom will release an album this summer, according to Playbill, which may indicate he'll focus more on his solo career rather than Broadway.
But, again, nothing is set in stone just yet. In an interview with WTOP, the actor confirmed he's still in negotiations concerning his contract. He said, "I’m still in talks right now. I’m open to staying. But it’s been a long, full journey, so if it ended for me on July 9 as well, that would be OK." It could be a good sign that Odom is still negotiating, since that definitely means he's open to returning after his contract ends. However, he also doesn't seem dead-set on it.
So, as of right now, we're in a wait-and-see period in terms of whether Odom will return as Aaron Burr, sir, in Hamilton. Of course, it won't be quite the same show without Miranda in the titular role, and it would likely disappoint some fans to see Odom leave as well. But, that's the nature of theater, friends. Another actor could take on the role and do just as well — if not better — as Odom, but rest assured, Odom will not throw away his shot. No matter what he does next, it's sure to be wonderful.