Sunday, March 6, 2016

My #Hamilton Experience

So this happened....

Hamilton: An American Musical 3.2.16
 It's only been a few days and I still can't believe I got to see this show live!

I'm not one to buy into the hype-monster easily, but last fall I tripped and fell down the Hamilton hole via the soundtrack
Look at all the regrets I have.

This post started out with a romantic intro about the length of time my husband and I have been married, how opportunities like this don't happen for us every day (or hardly ever), he's spent the past few months working PT in addition to his FT day job, and how he doesn't even like NYC or Musicals, but he really likes me, etc., etc. 
And then I realized 99% of you don't give a crap about any of that. 
You just want to know HOW IN THE HAMILTON did you score tickets, Jen?! 
Am I right? 
Okay, so, we're doing this. 

How To Have The Ultimate Hamilton Experience
1. Buy resale tickets. Unless you win the Hamilton lottery, are related to a cast member or have some other magical "in", resale tickets are your way into the room where it happens. Ticketmaster is your friend. Our seats were listed on Stub Hub for $20 more a piece. Their fees were higher too.

2. Don't be afraid of the Rear Mezzanine seats. If your desire to see the original cast is greater than being able to make eye contact with them, and you can't afford to shell out $1,500--$3,500 PER TICKET, Rear Mezz is the way to go. We had a great view of the entire stage, saw everything that was going on, including the actors expressions. Like when Jonathon Groff as King George succeeded in making Leslie Odom, Jr. fall out of character for a split second and laugh at the beginning of The Adams Administration. (A View From My Seat is a good resource for checking seats before buying.) 

3. Hang out at the Stage Door. You can make all the eye contact you want when you're TALKING TO CAST MEMBERS at the stage door after the show. Like this.

Our tickets were for the Wednesday matinee, but we got into the city Tuesday afternoon and did some sightseeing first: 9/11 Memorial and Museum (admission is free on Tuesdays at 5:30p.m.) and dinner at Caffe Napoli in Little Italy. Our hotel--which my husband scored for less than $100--was only two blocks away from the theater, so on our way back we decided to swing by the Hamilton stage door.

I'm really glad we did. Not only did we see Elton John sneaking out before the rest of the patrons, but Lin-Manuel said the cast doesn't come out after matinees on two-show days because there isn't time. 
If you do decide to hang out at the stage door, get there early and be prepared to stand for 1-1.5 hours. Once the theater lets out, it gets crazy. People get all up in your business while trying to get a signature. 

We met Anthony Ramos and Jonathan Groff too but didn't have a chance to take a picture.
4. Get a slice of pizza from the place directly across the street from the Richard Rodgers. It's a little hole in the wall adjacent to the Church of Scientology with nowhere to sit, but the pizza was fantastic. The ATM machine out front is prime Hamilton cast viewing too. Javier, Jonathan, Anthony and several dancers hit it up while we were there. However, the dude pacing in front of the Church of Scientology offering tours was kind of sketchy, so maybe don't make eye contact with him.

5. Visit the Hamilton Grange Museum
 "We'll get a little place in Harlem and we'll figure it out."

If you've read Ron Chernow's, Hamilton, you'll recognize the bust that sits in the foyer. If you haven't read the book, you need to get on that. 

"'s good to see your face." 

Angelica Hamilton's pianoforte. Alexander bought that for her after Philip died and she went a little crazy. For real. She would sit for hours playing the songs she and Philip learned as children, and she continued to refer to him in the present tense.  

A Ham's Man-cave. His laptop, desk and actual books.

"You walked in and my heart went BOOM!"  

 Sadly, cardboard Alexander was not available for purchase in the gift shop. 
We asked.

6. Visit Trinity Church. The resting place of Alexander Hamilton

7. Try to save your tears for the end of the show and not as soon as you walk through the doors of the Richard Rodgers. People will stare.  

What can I say? I'm a dork

Lin-Manuel had to pause an extra beat after his first, "Alexander Hamilton," because of the applause, much the way he did on the Grammy's. And when Daveed Diggs exploded onto the stage as America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman, Lafeyette, the place went NUTS

Guns And Ships made the hair on my arms tingle and Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down) sent shivers down my spine. And don't even get me started on Stay Alive - Reprise, Quiet Uptown, and Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story. The struggle to not go full-on ugly sob and scare the people sitting around me was real. 

These artists and this show was phenomenal!   

There are a few scenes in the show that are not on the soundtrack, they're small but pack a big emotional punch.  

This show was worth every mile driven and penny spent to see it. My only regret is not having my boys there too. They would have loved it!

 I did not throw away my shot! 

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