When the North American touring company of “Hamilton” took to the stage in San Francisco in August more than a year after the pandemic forced the popular musical to sink, the excitement was palpable.
“Our first comeback performance was like a rock concert,” says Paris Nix, who plays the dual roles of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the show. “The public response has been deafening.
“It was amazing to hear the sound of an audience because we hadn’t heard it for so long.”
South Bay audiences will have a chance to be part of the enthusiastic crowds when the show comes to the Center for the Performing Arts in San Jose from October 12 to 31. “Hamilton” opens the Broadway San Jose season.
Nix joined the Chicago cast of “Hamilton” in early 2019 for the final year of production on that production, then joined the North American touring company until the pandemic shuts down theaters across the continent. .
When the tour resumed, Nix says, he was able to reprise his role after considerable downtime. Given that he was giving eight shows a week before closing, he adds, his muscle memory was almost intact.
“It took a few shows for my brain and my body to manifest it,” he admits.
Nix used his free time to visit family in Philadelphia and to write and record his own music. He has released two singles and will soon be releasing an EP.
“I definitely had more time to focus on my passionate projects,” he says. “It was a blessing in disguise.”
Still, he says he’s happy to be back doing what he loves most.
“The theatrical community was the longest of all,” says Nix. “It’s something we all love to do, so coming back was exciting.”
Nix began his stage career shortly after graduating from the Girard Academic Music Program in Philadelphia in 2010. In one of his first roles, he played Daniel Beauxhomme in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s 2014 production of ” Once on this Island ”.
“Once on this island was definitely a bucket list show, and Daniel was a role I wanted to tick off my list,” he says. “It was one of my first times working in California.”
When Nix was chosen to tour “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” a year later, he called Salisha Thomas, who had played her love interest on the TheatreWorks show, to tell him the good news.
“She let me go on and on,” Nix said. Then she said: ‘This is great! Me too!'”
With another year of tour dates remaining, Nix says he’s on board for the foreseeable future of “Hamilton”.
“Looks like this will never end,” he laughs. “I’ll be with him as long as I have the passion for it.” … It challenges me, but it satisfies me a lot.
“I’ve seen a lot of people get jaded,” he says of life on the road, “but there are jobs that help you stay inspired. It is definitely one of those jobs that helps you remember why you are doing what you are doing. You are helping people escape reality.
“Hamilton” runs October 12-31 at the San Jose Performing Arts Center, 255 S. Almaden Blvd. Tickets cost $ 49 to $ 179 at www.broadwaysanjose.com, 800-982-ARTS (2787), or at the San Jose Civic Box Office, 150 W. San Carlos St.