Theater – Hamilton

I’m not going to beat around the bush here, you clicked the link.  You see the title.  The picture is right there – I saw Hamilton.  And it was amazing.  But humor me while I tell a story about all the drama leading up to the show.

Tickets to Hamilton were difficult to get – so many people got in a virtual line for the Kennedy Center to get tickets, and were denied.  Having known in advance that Hamilton would be in the lineup for shows at the Kennedy Center, and being told that the only way to guarantee tickets was with a season plan, that’s what my mom and I did.  And it wasn’t a hardship for us financially or scheduling-wise because we both like the theater (I mean, obviously), so that’s how I managed to get myself a ticket Hamilton and have it pinned to my bulletin board in October.

But the day that I was going to Hamilton, everything when to shit, starting early on.  From a window at my office around 11am, we saw a large plume of black smoke rising from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge – one of the major crossing points from Virginia to Maryland/DC.  Some quick searching on Twitter revealed there had been a major accident, and the bridge was closed in both directions.  We watched the smoke for a little while, commented on how we were glad to already be at work, and then went about our day.  Only when it was time to go home at 4:30, and I sat for 20 minutes inside our facility waiting to get out did I realize that perhaps that crash would have ripple effects.

And boy howdy did it.  This late-morning crash fucked up traffic for nearly 12 hours.  I managed to get home in a little under an hour, but the Boy left his office at the same time as me, which would normally take him an hour to get home.  When I was in the house, I got a call from him saying he was stuck on a road on his way home, and what time did he really need to be home by so I could leave on time for the theater?  Long-story short, he didn’t get home in time, I was slightly panicked as that “drop-dead” time drew near, but the solution was a good one that worked out well – step-daughters H and E came over to the house for an hour, and watched their little baby sister B, and everything worked out nicely, but by the time he got home, the Boy had been in his car for nearly 3 hours, and I heard that wasn’t unusual.  I managed to get to the theater on time, if a little harried from traffic and freaking myself out, but I was there, and that’s all that mattered.

I cannot imagine not being there on time from the beginning, because the show is breathtaking from the first notes played by the orchestra.  I can still remember the way my heart beat during the opening number.  You know that everyone in that room was aware of how privileged they were to witness this show, and so at the end of that song, and every other that followed there was rapturous applause.  There is good reason that the show won all those Tonys.  And you can tell that the entire cast is just ridiculously talented.  Because this is Hamilton, and it is EVERYTHING right now, you know that they can get whatever actors and dancers they want.  Even the background players were spectacular and beautiful and just perfect.

I don’t think there’s anything else that I can say that hasn’t already been said (and which is why I didn’t feel bad about filling a lot of space telling that story about the crazy traffic).  The show is wonderful.  Lin-Manuel Miranda is a national treasure.  If you can get tickets to see it, DO IT.  If you can’t, the original cast recording is so evocative.  But if you can manage to see this show somewhere along the way, there are moments and snippets of songs that aren’t in that album, and they are lovely, and they deserve to be seen in person.  Fortunately I think this is a show that will run for a long time, and tour enough so that the people who want to see it can see it, and America will be the better for that.

Details: Hamilton, playing in New York, London, Chicago, and two US touring casts until forever.  At the Kennedy Center through September 16.

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