It certainly seems like all work and no play for Lexi Lawson, one of the stars of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s mega-hit “Hamilton,” who takes the stage eight times each week for sold-out shows.
Lawson stepped into the role of Alexander Hamilton’s wife, Eliza, in July 2016, joining the award-winning production that set a record in November for the most money ever grossed in a single week by a Broadway show — a mind-blowing $3 million.
You can be sure that audience members who shell out thousands of dollars for coveted tickets expect the cast to be in top form. So how does she do it? LLNYC recently chatted with the Bronx-born actress about what she does to stay in the zone.
First of all, Lawson is no newbie. She performed in the national tour of “In the Heights” in the lead role of Vanessa, and also played Mimi in the “Rent” Broadway touring production. Playing Eliza is a dream come true, she said. “I love that she’s done so much and most importantly, she’s a founder of the Graham Windham school, which provides services to children and families to this day,” Lawson explained.
Despite the headspinning success of
‘Hamilton,’ Lawson strives to keep
For Lawson, the key is to keep her routine simple and relaxed. She turned an extra bedroom at her home in the luxury tower Manhattan View at MiMA into a meditation room with East Indian decor and meditates every day.
She appreciates how close her Midtown West home is to work, as well as its private Equinox gym and its views: “I can see the river, the Empire State Building and look right down on Broadway.” And she can see the George Washington Bridge, which reminds her of how her father used to drive her into the city for auditions from upstate New York, where her family relocated when she was seven.
She starts her day at 9 a.m. on show days and heads out to walk her Yorkshire terrier, Seven, in a dog park along the Hudson. After the walk, it’s time for a breakfast smoothie, either a simple protein shake or blend of kale, avocado, banana, water, protein, Greek yogurt and fruit.
Her performance schedule requires stamina, which she builds with some preshow cardio. “I find running works best for me and really gets me going,” she said. “I also do free weights and laps in the pool.” She winds down in the steam room.
Lawson gets to the theater about an hour before show time. “I wear a wig for the show, so while my wig is getting put on, I do a vocal warmup for 30 minutes.”
Postshow, you can find Lawson at a neighborhood haunt like Five Napkin Burger. “This sounds crazy, but they have a salad there that I’m obsessed with,” she said. She’s also partial to veggie tacos from Limon Jungle and the Buffalo roasted cauliflower at Blossom du Jour.
Or she’ll head home for some healthy eats from gourmet supermarket Treehaus, which just opened on the ground floor of her building. Lawson lived in L.A. for five years before returning to New York for Broadway. “I got accustomed to a very outdoorsy, organic, health-conscious lifestyle, so Treehaus brings a little bit of that to my doorstep in New York City,” she said.
Despite the head-spinning success of “Hamilton,” she strives to keep herself grounded.
“I’m lucky to have friends, family and cast who are super down to earth and incredibly supportive. It’s important to have good people and good energy surrounding you, and doing that keeps me very humble.”