As the world awaits the release of the filmed adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s HAMILTON – arriving globally on Disney+ on Friday 3rd July – The Convention Collective has been incredibly lucky to be able to talk to one of the ground-breaking cast members of the original Broadway run, reprising his role of Aaron Burr for the film: Sydney James Harcourt is a fascinating performer and Nadia Kean-Ayub was granted time to talk to him about his time on the most popular and most culturally affecting musical in living memory…
Sydney James Harcourt was born and raised in Detroit, the unexpected outcome from the chance meeting of a touring jazz pianist and a public-school English teacher. He was an Original Cast Member of Broadway’s Hamilton where he was cast as James Reynolds and made history as one of the only people to play almost every male lead in the show including Jefferson, Lafayette, Washington, King George and ultimately taking the role of Aaron Burr after Leslie Odom Jr departed. He reprised his role in the 2020 release of HAMILTON THE MOVIE on Disney+, releasing July 3rd 2020.
He has appeared on and off-Broadway, starring in productions such as Disney’s THE LION KING (Simba), Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT, and was most recently seen as Joe Scott in the critically acclaimed original American cast of Bob Dylan’s GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY at the Public Theater.
He has appeared on television and film in Blue Bloods, NCIS, Elementary, Younger, The Good Wife, Law and Order, and Disney’s Enchanted. A Grammy-award winner and sought after New York vocalist, he was the featured artist at the US Open Finals live broadcast honouring the 50th anniversary of Billie Jean King’s Triple Crown, rocked Carmello Anthony’s star-studded wedding, opened for Donna Summer, and has worked across the aisle as the entertainment at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
He opened the Museum of the American Revolution (introducing Vice President Joe Biden), was invited to perform at the White House at their Children’s Educational initiative, and is a go-to for corporate and charitable organizations like The Robin Hood Foundation, AFRMC, MCHF’s Diamond Ball, the CF Foundation, and HJTEP, tailoring unique theatrical/concert performances at galas and events around the country.
For the better part of the last decade, Sydney has been a fixture at most of the legendary ballrooms in New York City including the Rainbow Room, the Plaza Hotel, Gotham Hall, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Metropolitan, Yale, Harvard, and Lamb’s Clubs.
HARCOURT AND HAMILTON
Harcourt was one the only openly LGBTQ cast member in the Original Cast and is married to an American Immigrant which have some great parallels to the Hamilton story. Due to the fact that he was one of the only openly gay cast members, and being cast in masculine straight roles, he has a unique perspective on the show that I think you will find fascinating.
(ALSO, FUN FACT – the filmmakers filmed HAMILTON THE MOVIE at the same time as doing the Tonys performance and still doing eight shows that week!)