Saturday, April 7, 2018

Hip Hop Hamilton

Unless you have been living off-planet, you have probably heard of the musical Hamilton. It received a record number of Tony nominations in 2016, winning 11 of the 16 awards for which it was nominated. The Grammy award for Best Musical Theater Album also went to Hamilton in 2016. Despite all of that hype, I knew little of the play other than the fact that it depicted the life of Alexander Hamilton. I never listened to the music as I was told it was "all rap and you won't like it."

As season ticket subscribers to the Fox Theatre, Hamilton was part of our series of shows for 2017-2018. For the first time ever, as subscribers we were not allowed to purchase any additional tickets for a play before tickets went on sale to the general public. For all other shows, we can pick up extra tickets if we want. We were not sure if we even wanted to see Hamilton, especially after we saw the tickets in the same row as ours listed on StubHub for $1,500 each. Wow! More than ten times the purchase price as we don't pay the listed price on the tickets as subscribers. I have to admit, we were tempted to put our tickets up as well. I am so grateful we did not do it.

Hamilton set
Someone suggested to us that we listen to the soundtrack of the show first, so I borrowed it from the library. That was a game-changer, for a number of reasons. First of all, we LOVED the music, even the hip hop and rap. Second, there is a lot going on with the music, and sometimes it was difficult to  understand what was being said. Having the lyrics printed out so we could follow along helped immensely. Finally, listening to the music a few times before seeing the show made it easier for us to follow along. Plus we could pay attention to the other actors on stage, the costumes, the choreography and the lighting since we didn't have to concentrate so much on the words.

Our tickets were for last night, and we knew there would be a crush of people jockeying for parking and entering the theater. We went early and easily found a parking spot on the street before heading to the Triumph Grill for an early dinner before the show. From the restaurant it's an easy walk to the Fox Theatre, where there was quite a crowd at the doors. The Fox recently added body scans with a wand to the purse checks, so it takes awhile to get people in. I think that is the only show we have attended at the Fox that was 100% sold out.

The energy in the theater was so different than we have ever experienced. Expectations were high, and the actors did not let the audience down. The crowd responded in kind, cheering, clapping and whistling after each song was completed. Everything about the musical was exceptional, and it was without a doubt the best show I have ever seen. Before the last note ended, the entire house was on its feet.

I'm so happy I didn't throw away my shot to see Hamilton.

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

Wow, that is quite an endorsement! If it plays in the Midwest, it must be special!