- OnStage Editor-in-Chief
- Twitter: @onstageblog
- Instagram: chris_onstageblog
Count me as one of the very lucky to be able to see Hamilton this week before Lin-Manuel Miranda and much of the original cast departs the production. The buzz was palpable as I entered the theatre. It was a star studded audience that day. To my left was Willie Geist. In front of me was George Lucas and in the next section over was John Barrowman. This show was bringing everyone, from all circles, together.
But as I was watching the show, there were a ton of thoughts that came to me. Here are seven of them. [Mild spoilers ahead]
1. The show exceeds the hype.
I'm not the first to say that the exposure level of Hamilton has been a bit much. I can certainly understand if there are those who are sick and tired of hearing how amazing it is. But I sincerely hope that these people get a chance to see it someday, so that they can see that the hype is warranted. Lyrically, melodically, structurally, it's one of the most flawless productions I've ever seen.
2. The Easter egg references are excellent.
For those with a keen ear and knowledge of both musical theatre and hip-hop history, will have a ball hearing some well placed references throughout the show. They include musicals such as 1776 and The Last Five Years to the work of hip-hop artists such as Notorious B.I.G., Nas and Big Pun.
3. There is an age limit to seeing this show.
With all due respect to the parents who want to bring their kids to see this, for any of them that are under the age of 10, it's going to be a bit of a challenge. Unless your child is knowledgeable of Presidential politics or congressional debates, they might have a hard time understanding what is really going on.
4. If you're a parent, this show will crush you.
I've only wept a handful of times when watching a film or theatre. Interestingly enough, every time it was to do with parenting or family, ie. the ending of Field of Dreams, beginning of Up and now, the last 30 mins of Hamilton.
I don't think I'm spoiling anything here, since it's based on his life story. Still, I won't say exactly what happens but let's just say that, as the father of a 2 year old son, "It's Quiet Uptown", is the most emotional I've ever become in a theatre. The first thing I wanted to do after I walked out of the theatre, was hug my son. Judging from the audible sniffles and crying from the rest of the audience, I think they felt the same way.
5. Speaking of the audience, they were the best ever.
In an era of cell phone issues, talking, eating, frequent bathroom trips, seeing none of this occur during this particular performance, was not only surprising but also made for one of the most perfect viewing experiences I've had in a Broadway theatre in a long time.
Not a single person pulled out their cell phone during the performance, no one was whispering to one another, no one got up. Maybe it takes a show of this magnitude or ticket prices this high, to make a 21st Century audience actually be an "audience". Whatever it was, it was amazing. I wish people would treat every show they see with this respect.
6. The show is in good hands after the OBC departs.
The performance I saw had no Daveed Diggs or Christopher Jackson. However I did see Andrew Chappelle and Nicholas Christopher play Lafayette/Jefferson and Washington respectively and both crushed it. Christopher's vocals are incredible and earned him a borderline standing ovation for his "One Last Time". It's hard to come close to what Diggs does with his characters but Chappelle is outstanding. If this is what the future holds for the show, these performers are not to be missed.
7. This cast gives you everything they've got.
A surprise to no one, but I get charged upon seeing a cast giving me everything they have in their performances. This cast does not disappoint, even on a Wednesday afternoon. It's just another testament to the work ethic with this production.
When it's all over, the only thing you want to do is to see it again. I hope everyone who wants to, gets a chance to see and experience this show. It will not only inspire you to do everything better but also remind you of the amazing things you've already done.