The Story of Hamilton

I think I need to change the tagline of this blog. “The comical side of having a sibling on the autism spectrum; and other things.” I haven’t felt the need to write about autism in a while, but I have plenty of other thoughts bouncing around in my head. Example A:

Growing up, I read a lot. I still read books today, but not at the pace nor frequency I once did since apparently being an adult that works and goes to grad school is time-consuming.

Anyway.

I love words. Especially when they are used well. Which seems to be happening less and less now that the path between your brain and your audience is a touch screen away.

Fast-paced, witty verbal sparring brings me joy. Some of my favorite movies are screwball comedies from the 1940s. A few months back, I fell down a West Wing hole (how the heck did I not discover this until now?!) and giggled my way through the quips of the first few seasons. I rewatch or reread Pride and Prejudice more than I probably should and walk around for days finding reasons to say, “I could never be prevailed on…” to do x, y, or z.

When I first heard about Hamilton, I was not interested. Even though I am a self-avowed history nerd and a fan of musical theater, a hip hop musical about the life of the first Secretary of the Treasury? Come on.

A few people recommended the soundtrack to me. Then a few more. I finally gave in and listened back in January.

I’m not a master wordsmith, but I recognize it when I see it. Within a few songs, my jaw was on the ground. I was laughing. I was crying. I was cursing the high heavens that I don’t have a fraction of the creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda’s talent.

I’ve read enough of David McCullough and Doris Kearns Goodwin to know how packed those books are with information. Somehow, some way, Miranda took an 800 page biography and turned it into 2 hours and 45 minutes of verbal acrobatic perfection.

I often have a hard time qualifying why I like certain creative pieces but not others (I just… do?), but this piece from Slate comes pretty close to describing why I love Hamilton so much.

I love it so much that I made the very financially irresponsible decision to buy a resale ticket and see it last week with an equally irresponsible friend.

After much sleuthing (when were the Tony nominations, which cast members were out on vacation, etc.), we bought the tickets 6 days before the show. I told no one outside of my family and my manager because I was paranoid that something awful was going to happen and I wouldn’t be able to go.

I had reason to worry. Sort of.

Of the six days between ticket purchase and showtime, I spent 3 nights at my parents’ house. When I got there, my dad was recuperating from norovirus. 48 hours later, my mom had it.

When the illness struck her, I may or may not have stood in the middle of the kitchen wide-eyed and frantic, yelling, “I’M GOING TO HAMILTON ON WEDNESDAY.” Repeatedly.

I hid upstairs in the one room untouched by the virus, wore latex gloves, opened everything with my elbows, and Lysol-wiped the heck out of every surface I thought she may have touched.

A million thanks to the universe and my immune system for getting me through the exposure unscathed! The photo below was my view last Wednesday night.

hamilton

So was it worth it?

Heck yea!

My only regret was that I didn’t have 16 pairs of eyes to catch everything happening onstage. More often than not, the majority of the company was onstage and I HAD to pick a place to look even though I knew I was missing something amazing in that corner upstage because holycrapeverycastmemberisamazing. Seriously. From the leads to the ensemble. The staging, choreography, music, acting, etc. is all top notch. Probably why they got the most Tony Award nominations in history last week..

I was living in the balcony. Thank you, Hamilton!

Side note: On more than one occasion, Miranda, who is a big Twitter user, has tweeted post-show about people in the first few rows who were on their phones. WHO PAYS TO BE IN THE FIRST FEW ROWS AND BURIES THEIR FACES IN THEIR PHONES??? Amateur hour. Jeez.

Side side note: Have I convinced you to listen to the soundtrack yet? Do it. Dooooooo it. Here, I’ll help you out (this compilation doesn’t have the first song for some reason, but everything else is there!).

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