Leslie Odom Jr. won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Aaron Burr, half of the world’s most famous revolutionary era duel, in the smash hit Hamilton on Broadway. Odom just finished his life-changing run in Hamilton last week — on the same night that actress Phillipa Soo and Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda said farewell to the production. Stars lit up the audience for the trio’s final performance, with Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda, Rosie O’Donnell, Spike Lee, Charlie Rose and John Kerry among those in the seats. But none was as bright as the luminaries on stage.
The three Hamilton performers all have full plates following their roles in what’s been a cultural phenomenon. Leslie Odom Jr.’s new solo album — entitled simply Leslie Odom, Jr — is wowing even the most astute music fans, like the brilliant composer and lyricist Marc Shaiman. Shaiman, whose extraordinary career has put Tony, Emmy and Grammy Awards on his heavy shelves, was deeply moved by the album. Here’s what Shaiman wrote about Leslie Odom, Jr, the new solo recording:
“Leslie Odom Jr, I am on a plane FINALLY listening to your CD, which I bought the day it came out and it has sat, patiently, waiting for me. Well, it was well worth the wait, I feel like I am in a warm bathtub with you…well, along with all the other lucky folks who are smart enough to purchase it. Congratulations on having such a specific vision and sticking with it. Even if I wasn’t on a plane right now, I’d be flying on the wings of your emotional voice and immaculate phrasing. “