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Getting the job done in Hamilton's return to Australia

Liz HobdayAAP
Gerard-Luke Malgas (left) plays a leading role in Hamilton's return to Sydney. (HANDOUT/MICHAEL CASSEL GROUP)
Camera IconGerard-Luke Malgas (left) plays a leading role in Hamilton's return to Sydney. (HANDOUT/MICHAEL CASSEL GROUP) Credit: AAP

Delivering the classic Hamilton line, "Immigrants - we get the job done" will have a special resonance for Gerard-Luke Malgas when the musical makes its much-anticipated return to Sydney in July.

Malgas will play Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson opposite Australia's original Alexander Hamilton, Jason Arrow.

"As immigrants coming to a different country, being a part of Hamilton and the history that our families have together, I think it's really gonna hit home," Malgas told AAP.

"Especially when we say all those beautiful lines Jason and I have on stage together."

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Not only are the two performers both originally from South Africa, Malgas recently discovered - thanks to some Facebook stalking by his aunties - that they lived on the same street and their relatives are friends.

While Arrow emigrated to Australia and has made a career here, Malgas moved to New Zealand at the age of seven and began performing when he was 12, growing up with the hip hop and R&B tunes that infuse Lin Manuel Miranda's musical style.

While Malgas has more than a decade of musical theatre under his belt in New Zealand, Hamilton is his main stage debut in Australia, and he's a little nervous.

"The whole thing is completely new so that's expected, I'm very blessed and humbled by the whole experience so far," he said.

The musical follows the rise of one of the founding fathers of the United States, Alexander Hamilton, based on a biography by Ron Chernow.

It's won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as Grammys, Olivier and Tony Awards, and has been seen by 22 million people on stages worldwide.

Hamilton fever took over Sydney when the Australian production premiered in March 2021, and it was followed by seasons in Melbourne, Brisbane and New Zealand.

Landing the dual parts didn't come out of nowhere for Malgas - he was in high school when Miranda musical In The Heights debuted on Broadway in 2008, and pressed his singing teacher to help him learn to rap.

She was absolutely against the idea initially, but relented, and as he studied classical music and musical theatre, she would also take him through hip hop numbers.

"Now I am blessed and lucky enough have landed two Lin credits, so it's all paid off," said Malgas.

In 2023 he starred as Usnavi De La Vega in a New Zealand production of In The Heights, but says Hamilton requires more focus technical mastery - and it's much faster.

"With Hamilton there's no time to think, there's 150 words per minute coming out of your mouth, so it's all go," said Malgas.

Hamilton's return run features many of the same performers as in 2021 - along with Arrow, Callan Purcell returns as Aaron Burr, Brent Hill as King George, and Akina Edmonds and Elandrah Eramiha as two of the Schuyler sisters.

Among the new cast is up and coming Gamilaroi performer Googoorewon Knox - the grandson of renowned Aboriginal country singer Roger Knox - playing George Washington.

Malgas says audiences should buckle up for the ride.

"Bring your tissues, hopefully we can deliver this beautiful message and uphold the quality of it," he said.

Hamilton returns to the Sydney Lyric Theatre from July 30 until October 31.

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