When one reveals that they have seen Hamilton, one is bombarded with text messages, social media notifications, and wide-eyed glee, especially when one sees it right after it wins 11 Tonys and right before 3 of the major stars depart the production. I am one of the few hundred souls to have seen Hamilton in that short window of time, within those 27 days.

And then I got backstage.

But more on that later.

My relationship with Hamilton: I’ve been hopped up on this version of forefatherdom for six years, since I’d seen the White House’s YouTube clip of Lin-Manuel’s performance at An Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word back in 2009.

Since then, I’ve tracked the show’s journey from afar, wishing I’d had the funds or job that allowed me to drop everything and hop across the country and see it. How did I end up getting to the Richard Rogers Theatre on June 24th? It’s a complicated story for another day, but suffice to say that I did, running into the mezzanine in three inch stilettos, two minutes to curtain.

“This is the way we’re supposed to see it, right?” I asked my companion, “High on adrenaline and breathing heavily?”

Our seats were okay. The sight lines in the rear mezzanine suck, but I didn’t care because I was there. I was grateful.

I know who I am, y’know? I’m aware of the things that call to me. If you were to dice up the demographics of the key audience that this show was made for, I’d be a bullseye for each category. I love American history. I’m a political junkie and a theatre geek. I harp about lack of diversity in media at least three times a day. And like, fuck, I’ve been hearts-for-eyes about Lin-Manuel for years now. He’s a living legend, a smart and kind and thoughtful man, and someone who gets it. He’s passionate about the things he’s doing and he makes time for what matters and it shows.

In a world plagued by toxic masculinity, I wish there were more Mirandas.

(I just love that video. While, sure, it is the antithesis of toxic masculinity, maybe I wanted an excuse to embed it.)

Anyway. The show. It’s going to be filmed and released soon, plus it’ll have a long Broadway run, and will eventually tour forever, so I’m not going to report what I thought of every second of every minute. However, a few thoughts:

  • I was on the edge of my seat for the entire show. Quite literally. I’m in pain from how tense my back muscles were for all 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  • I was surprised at how the soundtrack is pretty much the show in it’s entirety. There are a few moments not included on the album, but for the most part, what you hear is what you get! Who needs to memorize lines when you can just sing and rap, right?
  • My emotions were in check. My body wouldn’t allow me to weep because that could mean missing a moment.
    • That said, I did cry during Wait For It and Dear Theodosia because of course I did (here’s to worrying about past/future opportunities and humbled men harmonizing about babies).
      • The feels for Wait For It were so real that my tears started welling during the reprise of The Story of Tonight because I knew that my favorite song was about to happen.
      • The staging of Dear Theodosia was perfect. Simple and perfect.
  • Obviously I’ve seen clips and the Tony and Grammys performance, but seeing the whole thing really punched home the fact that omg, this is abstract theatre. I hate abstract theatre! I didn’t this time. The choreography and staging is masterpiece-level. It’s as good as it gets. To do so much with so little is such a feat.
  • I saw Sydney James Harcourt as Washington. He was great. Here he is with Meryl Streep. If he’s good enough for Streep, he’s good enough for me.

Meryl Streep and Sydney James Harcourt

  • I don’t know if I wasn’t paying attention in the first act, but the second act felt especially artsy-fartsy. In a good way! The lighting was more dramatic and some interesting things were done with the costuming. The transition into that felt good and natural and smooth.

It absolutely lived up to my expectations.

After the show, we exited the theatre and made our way to the stage door because my name was on the list for backstage access (SHOUT OUT to the individual that made that happen – I love you). The fellow I was with couldn’t wait to get his Playbill signed and pictures with everyone, but I don’t play that game; I was way more excited to peek at the props, chat with some of the actor’s parents (Sydney’s!), peripherally keep my eyes on Kathy Griffin and Macklemore (Sure!), and to tell Leslie Odom Jr. that I thought the sweatpants he wore in this Tonys promo video looked incredibly comfortable.

“I think these are the same ones…” He said, pointing at the pants he had on.

“Seriously? Where are they from?”

“Bloomingdales, I think.” Take note, folks!

Haha, is that weird? I just have zero interest in idolatry. It’s one thing to express appreciation (I do that!) but it’s another to praise, which feels cheap and disingenuous to me. Were the tables turned, I’d rather be asked about my sweatpants than to be told how wonderful I am. It’s also that old treat them like a rockstar, they’ll treat you like a fan adage, y’know?

Lin didn’t show up, and that’s okay. If I may completely renege on my previous statement? I would have flipped out were I in such close proximity to him. He’s a living legend! I wouldn’t know how to tell him how much he means to me. I might’ve barfed. No one needs to see that!

You know what you should see, though? Some fun backstage pictures I took.

<a href="https://flic.kr/s/aHskCZx7hh" target="_blank">Click to View</a>

Head over to my Flickr album to zoom in and check out the details. It was crazy to me how familiar it all was, y’know? Theatre is theatre is theatre, no matter if it’s done in a high school or a community cabaret or on the Great White Way.

What a night. T-minus 203 days until I see it again. Not that I’m counting or anything.


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