Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hamilton on Broadway

By the time I got in line in front of the Richard Rodgers Theatre, I had worked myself into quite a state.  After all, I had flown all the way across the country, paid the equivalent of the gross national product of a small country to sit in the balcony, and eagerly anticipated this moment for months.  Would I be disappointed?  Was this musical worth all of the hype?  The answer, my friends, is a resounding yes!  Hamilton is absolutely amazing, even better than I had imagined, and I think it is the best thing I have ever seen on the stage!  I have listened to the music going to and coming home from school for months so I basically had the lyrics to the entire show memorized.  The music was even better when I saw the costumes, the staging, and the choreography!  With the intimacy of the theatre it seemed as though the actors (the original cast from the Broadway recording!) sang their roles with much more emotion and passion and, believe me, I noticed every little nuance.  Some of my most favorite moments were when the crowd exploded into thunderous applause when Lin-Manuel Miranda made his first entrance on stage in the song "Alexander Hamilton," when Samuel Seabury (Thayne Jasperson) moves his soapbox forward to get away from Hamilton heckling him in "Farmer Refuted," when King George III (Rory O'Malley) struts out on the stage in high heels and waves his scepter at the audience during "You'll Be Back," when Lafayette (Daveed Diggs) jumps off of the table in "Guns and Ships,"  the choreography of the soldiers in "Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)," when Hamilton imitates Jefferson (Daveed Diggs) in "Cabinet Battle #1," how the transition from Hamilton writing and then Washington (Christopher Jackson) delivering the Farewell Address is staged in "One Last Time," how the song "Hurricane" is staged to simulate an actual hurricane, when Jefferson struts around the stage (wearing a purple velvet frock coat) tossing pamphlets in the air during "The Reynolds Pamphlet," when Eliza (Phillipa Soo) actually burns letters in "Burn," when Eliza takes Hamilton's hand and he bows his head in "It's Quiet Uptown," when a member of the ensemble hands Burr (Leslie Odom, Jr.) a list of Hamilton's grievances one page at a time in "Your Obedient Servant," and the staging of the duel between Hamilton and Burr on the turntable in "The World Was Wide Enough."  I could go on and on!  So many of the performances gave me goosebumps, especially Christopher Jackson in "Right Hand Man" ("We are outgunned, outmanned, outnumbered, outplanned. We've got to make an all out stand!"),  Leslie Odom, Jr. in "Wait For It" and "The World Was Wide Enough," and Renee Elise Goldsbury in "Satisfied."  I had a hard time taking my eyes off Lin-Manuel Miranda when he was on stage because he was such an imposing presence, much like, I suspect, Alexander Hamilton himself.  I walked out of the theatre with my mind buzzing with all I had seen and heard, wanting desperately to see it again!  It was definitely worth the outrageous price of admission and I would pay it again in a heartbeat.  I highly recommend this brilliant musical if you have the opportunity to see it.  In fact, I highly recommend that you make the opportunity to see it!

Note:  Hamilton was the highlight of my New York trip.  It may be the highlight of the year!

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