It’s no secret that there’s something special happening on Broadway, and it comes in the form of a fan-favorited musical since it debuted in 2015.
With prices skyrocketing (now going for $250-$800+ a ticket), going to see this show live isn’t an experience to take lightly. It’s won eleven Tony Awards and is easily considered to be one of the best broadway musicals of all time. It takes an investment of money or time, and some are willing to even wait all day outside of the theater doors in hopes to win a lottery ticket to see Hamilton.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to see the show, and have my thoughts with behind-the-scenes photos from a stage tour to share with you!
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t know much about the music or storyline before seeing it for myself over the weekend. (I know … don’t hate me. Give me a chance to explain here.) I heard countless stories about how amazing the show, the music, and the cast is, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around the concept of spending so much money on something that would only last for two hours and forty-five minutes.
That actually turned me off in regards to researching more about it, so I’ve been living in a world without the hip-hop inspired show tunes running through my head. I figured that I’d be okay with or without it. I wasn’t going out of my way to wait in a lottery line, and I wasn’t going to spend $500 or more on a set of tickets when there are many, many other options for Broadway entertainment in New York City.
That said, Scott happens to have a few friends in the show (one who opened with original cast ensemble!), and we were insanely grateful for him offering us standing cast tickets at an absolute steal.
So, is Hamilton worth the hype?
It only took about two songs into Act I until I finally understood. I turned to Scott who was intently bobbing his head and mouthed “now I get it.” And I did. Lin-Manual Miranda created a hip-hop Broadway musical that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and it’s genius.
The entire storyline is rapped and sung in forty-six tracks and takes you through years of Revolutionary history around the life of Alexander Hamilton. The rise and fall of the founding father is the focus of the show, but the other characters that make up both friends and enemies each bring something to the story.
The main character, of course, is Alexander Hamilton, but I have to say that a favorite of mine is King George Frederick III. He provides comic relief throughout the seriousness and had me cracking up each time he came on stage. I actually turned to Scott during his first solo and said “that’s you” about him. He agreed.
As someone who didn’t know what to expect while going into the Richard Rogers Theater, my expectations were set high. Is the show really as good as people say it is? Are the songs that unique? Is the storyline riveting enough to justify such a high ticket price?
I wanted to be completely blown away, and I was. And I don’t casually make that statement, either. I felt like I was watching a hip-hop mash-up production set in the eighteenth century which is so unusual and intriguing. After hearing the poetic writing of the lyrics, I started to wonder why more shows aren’t written this way. It’s catchy, entertaining, and I was dancing around in my standing seat the entire time.
Even though I hadn’t heard the tracks before, there was a hint of familiarity in some of them that made me smile. It could have been the backbeats that resemble other popular songs, and if not, they were just that catching.
I may be biased because it’s pretty neat to experience all of this through the lens of knowing someone on the stage — shout out to Thayne Jasperson who plays Samuel Seabury — but I don’t think this is the case. Scott and I are huge theater buffs and spend a considerable amount of money on experiences (travel, restaurants, shows, etc.) versus material things. We have a long list of must-see items on our New York City bucket list that included seeing Hamilton, and there are several more shows to check off in the future.
Unlike most people who patiently wait for the day to be able to see the show, I went into it without ever hearing lyrics, songs, or much about the musical at all. I’m no history buff and didn’t really know much about the life of Alexander Hamilton. I never thought I wanted to, either.
That makes it all even more impressive to me because I loved every minute of it and have been playing the soundtrack at home ever since. Thank you so much to Thayne who helped us get killer seats and took us on a special backstage tour after the show. It was so cool to see!
I’m going to end this review with the ultimate question that really tells it all.
After seeing it, would I pay to go see it again? Absolutely. I’d love to be able to go into the show knowing what to expect and appreciate it on an entirely new level. I’d be up for waiting in the lottery line for the chance to win an extremely affordable front row ticket, so I think that’s saying a lot.
Have you seen Hamilton? Do you think the show is worth the rave reviews and ticket prices? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!