LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As if having the hottest Broadway show in town isn't a good enough reason, there's another reason to see Hamilton while it's in Louisville: one of the performers is from our area.
It took Alexander Hamilton a while to get his shot, and cast member Charnette Batey knows the feeling. "For me, my audition process was kind of lengthy," Batey said. "I auditioned for about a year-and-a-half for Hamilton ... so it was a long road but well worth it."
Batey attended New Albany High School, and is now back in town for Louisville's run of the traveling Broadway show Hamilton. So she has had plenty of support from local patrons.
"People have been texting me, hitting me up on Facebook and Instagram saying 'I'm coming to the show!' And I love it when people let me know that they're out there in the audience -- and I can feel it too," Batey said.
Batey is a member of Hamilton's ensemble cast, and she's also an understudy for four other characters.
"As soon as I heard the music of Hamilton I was really drawn to it -- and love that the creative team went about casting this musical with people that look different," Batey said.
She remembers the moment she found out she was going to be part of one of the hottest shows of the season.
"I was in my New York apartment by myself with my dog, and I just started jumping up and down and screaming. I had a dance party. I called my mom. It was a life-changing moment. I was like, 'I did it! I did it!'"
It was a moment that was made even more meaningful when Batey learned the none other than the creator of the Broadway production himself had personally requested her to be part of the cast.
"I finally got the call that Lin-Manuel Miranda had watched my tape and said 'I want her to be a part of the show.' That's what my agent said -- that he (Miranda) had watched my tape and said, 'Yeah let's do that!'"
Batey signed on for the show's year-long tour, but she relishes every minute on the stage in her hometown.
"It's just so cool to come offstage, and people are like, 'The Louisville audiences are awesome, they love it.' And I'm like, 'Yep those are my people.' It feels good!"
Batey isn't the only cast member with a local connection. Patrick Garr, a UK graduate from Lexington, is also a part of the ensemble.
Hamilton is being performed at the Kentucky Center's Whitney Hall through June 23. Tickets are still available.
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