Park City • The hillside at Deer Valley Resort's Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater was the room where it happened for thousands of "Hamilton" fans Saturday night. Leslie Odom Jr., who won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Vice President Aaron Burr in the hit musical, gave a stunning, something-for-everyone performance with the Utah Symphony.
After opening the show with "Wait for It," Odom teasingly told the crowd that if he delivered any more "Hamilton" hits before the end of the show, many people would leave early and hurry home to catch "Law & Order: SVU," on which he has a recurring role. "Well, we've reached it. I dangled it like a carrot," he said before launching into a beautifully phrased "Dear Theodosia" and a driving "The Room Where It Happens," the latter inspiring the crowd to jump up, dance and even rap Lin-Manuel Miranda's lines from the show. And if you thought Odom sang those songs perfectly on the "Hamilton" cast recordings, well, you haven't heard him perform them live.
The silken-voiced Odom is this generation's Nat King Cole if Cole were also a top-notch actor, anyway and cites him as an influence, so most of the two-hour show was in that jazzy vein, including fine renditions of "Straighten Up and Fly Right," "Unforgettable" and other Cole hits. Most selections were accompanied by the Utah Symphony under guest conductor John Morris Russell; an arrangement that worked particularly well was "Without You" from another of Odom's favorite shows, "Rent." But a handful featured the five supporting musicians who've been touring with Odom since he left "Hamilton" a year ago: Michael O. Mitchell (piano), Orlando Le Fleming (stand-up bass), John Davis (drums), Steven Walker (guitar) and Senfu Stoney (percussion). "The Guilty Ones" from "Spring Awakening" showcased these outstanding musicians in an extended jam.