Hamilton on Broadway: The Room Where It Happens
Talk Less, Smile More
Last Christmas, I had bought a block of tickets so that we could catch Hamilton both here in Orange County, and in L.A. But my mom instinct kicked in something terrible. I just couldn’t shake this nagging instinct I felt about seeing the most talked about play of all-time anywhere other than New York City. Here I had four tickets, but neither of these performances would be inside Broadway’s intimate Richard Rogers theater, and I couldn’t justify paying face value for tickets that were not much less than the Broadway tickets.
Sadly, I had missed the original cast perform in NYC because of family obligations, but quite frankly, I really had no desire to see Hamilton: An American Musical on the left coast. This iconic play needed to be enjoyed on The Great White Way the way it was meant to be intended. Not to mention, I know Lin-Manuel was great, but every single person I spoke to who had the opportunity to see Hamilton multiple times, overwhelmingly agreed that the role was written and made for Lin-Manuel’s successor, Javier Muñoz.
He supposedly owned the performance over the last two years and there was the clear preference between the two thespians. But it wasn’t until we actually arrived and had these conversations with New Yorkers did we realize from every single person, Javier Muñoz could very well be the best Alexander Hamilton past, present, and future. After watching the play at home courtesy of PBS and YouTube, both Coco and I had to agree. This role was meant for him.
For me personally, I fell in love with him the moment I saw him play himself on my favorite show, “Odd Mom Out,” on Bravo. But after seeing him perform that Sunday afternoon, I can never imagine seeing another Alexander Hamilton connect with this fellow cast, and audience the way Muñoz did. The moment he walked on stage and announced, “Alexander Hamilton,” it was through the air was sucked out of the room, and he soaked in every single second of standing ovations and praise. This was his very last performance as Hamilton, and he was going to make it count. It was the catalyst that made the night one of the best Hamilton performances anyone has ever had the pleasure of seeing.
Wait for it…
Then it happened. Last March, I was sitting at my laptop when I received an email notification from Ticketmaster out of the blue. It notified me that a new block of Hamilton tickets just went on sale. Quite frankly, I just peeked out of curiosity since I already had tickets, but the dates were over Coco’s b’day and MLK weekend. Never in 100 years would I expect what happened next. Ticketmaster, the company I have battled with during on-sales for longer than I care to remember, assigned me two orchestra dead center seats, tickets row B for face value.
Huh? Is this some kind of joke? With 9 minutes left in the cart, I promptly dialed my Broadway go-to friend, Gabrielle, because let’s face it, these tickets are astronomical. I wanted to make this 11th birthday the most special Kiddo could imagine, but would this amount of money for a ticket really be worth it? What was I doing? This is nuts! Oh, and Hubs doesn’t really understand the whole Hamilton rage so I had to figure out how to gently break the news to him as well.
Let’s just call it like it is, Gab is an enabler! She told me (which was exactly what I wanted to hear,) that I had to do this and I would figure it all out later. Everything always works out, and with tickets as good as these, I could easily sell them if I needed to. Before I knew it, my Ticketmaster cart had 0:23 seconds left to buy the tickets before they were offered up to the general public. As my heart began to race like a bullet train, I closed my eyes, gave a huge inhale, pushed purchase, and exhaled.
I’ve purchased concert tickets a million times before via Ticketmaster, and I’ve spent many frustrated on-sales pushing purchase only to have my tickets “no longer available.” Not this time. Nope, I was the proud owner of two Orchestra Hamilton tickets. But would I see Javier Muñoz in the role of Alexander?
You bet your PlayBill I would! Can you imagine? Of all the dates I randomly picked, we would be at the Sunday matinée for Javier Muñoz’s final curtain call playing Alexander Hamilton on Broadway. Talk about the cherry on top of one of the coolest trips ever. Watch this short emotional clip as the cast and orchestra of Hamilton celebrate Javier Muñoz.
I’m probably going to go to Hamilton jail for this, but I couldn’t resist. It was his final curtain call! Sorry for the video quality, but I was trying to be really discreet.
The Room Where It Happens
For those debating whether they are going to see Hamilton: An American Musical on tour in a local city, or heading to the Big Apple’s Richard Roger Theater, there is no comparison. Seeing this masterpiece in a historic intimate setting will make the performance even that much better. The Richard Roger Theater has 1,300 seats, whereas theaters like Pantages in Los Angeles has 2,700. Our row B seats were less than 12 feet away from the actors during a majority of the night. I told my husband it felt as though this ensemble was performing this for us privately right in my living room.
So Does Hamilton Live Up to the Hype?
Let’s put it this way, Kiddo knows each song and nuance backward and forwards, but I have done a great job at not drinking the Kool-Aid. I was a bit apprehensive since the original cast was not going to be there, but I still caved. That didn’t stop me from realizing 30 seconds into the show during Aaron Burr’s part that this was going to be one of the most special nights I would witness. It was powerful and emotional, and I wept like a baby the entire second set.
The only thing I could say over and over? “Oh, my God. That was AMAZING.”
Just last night while researching some information for this post, I decided to fall down the rabbit hole and while the original cast is so special, the current cast on Broadway blows each and everyone away bringing to the stage a whole new personality that wasn’t embraced by the original members. I realize this is going to be an unpopular opinion by many, especially those who shelled out thousands of dollars for these seats, but this is my truth. I urge you to go see the performance again and let me know your thoughts.
Is Hamilton Worth The Cost?
This is a loaded question which I hate answering, but I’ve received so many messages asking this same question. My answer? Yes, if you are headed to New York City and have the chance to catch Hamilton on Broadway at the Richard Roger theater, do it. HOWEVER… I would wait to read the reviews of the new Alexander Hamilton. Regardless, Aaron Burr, John Lauren, King George, and Thomas Jefferson steal the show, so you are still in for a treat.
Is Hamilton: An American Musical Family Friendly
I brought my daughter who was 11, and I know a few friends who saw the production with their tween children, but here are some family-friendly tips if you decide to bring Junior.
- Parents, we know this is the hottest ticket in town, but just because your children know the soundtrack backward and forwards, and upside down, it does have numerous scenes that include: profanity (i.e. mother trucker, adultery, and violence.) If you feel your child(ren) are old enough to tackle these subjects, or a PG-14 movie for that matter, and ready to take on full-blown questions and discussions, then you have my blessing.
What About the Hamilton Lottery?
Our seats were amazing, yet everyone in the row in front of us (front row) won the lottery and their tickets were $10 year. Yes, you read that correctly…TEN DOLLARS. So even if you are short on cash and find yourself in Manhattan, enter the lottery and maybe you’ll be one of the lucky Hamilton front row winners!
Have You Seen Hamilton?
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