Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Room Where it Happened

One thing I promised Mark before we moved to Chicago, was that I would make sure he got to see Hamilton when it came here. So last June, when the frenzy of Hamilton hit, I sat at the computer for over an hour trying desperately to get tickets. No luck. We were frozen out by the scalpers. At least we still had the hope of the lottery. You see the theater announced that every day they would put up a limited number of tickets that they would give away in a lottery. Only ten dollars, and the seats were right up front. The only catch was that you had to go downtown and pick them up by two in the afternoon, and they were for that day only. Anyway, I was not one to give up so easily. We were not going to rely on the vagaries of a lottery. So I tried again later that afternoon, and there they were. Two tickets in the orchestra, and at a very inexpensive price. I snapped them up despite the warning that one was an "obstructed view" and the other was "limited view". I have bought such tickets before and was only mildly inconvenienced. A portion of the stage hidden, or maybe a bit of the balcony hanging low. I was not prepared for what I got Tuesday night. A seat directly behind one of the fattest columns I have ever seen in a theater.

Here is my critique of the show, Hamilton. Act one. While sounding lively and possibly entertaining, (I have to rely on the reaction of those around me for that) I found it a bit hard to follow. It's the hip-hop, fast talking, staccato pace of the songs that threw me off. I had to keep asking Mark, "What the hell did they say?" Mark had the limited view seat, which meant that he only had to lean over a bit to see the whole stage. Smart Mark had watched the PBS special on Hamilton the night before, so he knew exactly what was going on.

Act two. I made Mark sit in the obstructed view seat for the second act. It turns out that just that little bit of extra view that I got, improved the show immensely. Not all of the songs were hip-hop. Some were real songs, real music. As for whether I liked it or not, I have been to better shows. Hamilton is a good show. I did like it, but it is way over hyped. There was one minor role that every time the actor stepped out on stage he stole the show. King George. When that character would appear, I knew I was going to be entertained.

Just one thing kind of bugged me, and it happened before I even knew that I would not be able to see the first act. We were out in the lobby and a woman was bragging about winning that lottery for tickets.
"I can't believe it. Second row seats, and for only twenty dollars. I'm giddy with delight."
I paid nearly three hundred dollars so I could sit behind a column and listen to the show.


  1. Like I said...much ado about nothing. But who are you to listen to the critique of anonymous. It coulda saved you $300 bucks. Oh well....

  2. Sh*t Alan,
    I've been dying to get up to NYC and see Hamilton. Now you're saying I have to watch the PBS special first to understand it?
    Plus, even if I do watch the PBS special, my girlfriend won't and I'll be stuck whispering high school history to her the whole time.

    1. The PBS special is easier than reading. Besides your high school history book did not have the full story, like when he took on a lover only to find out she came on to him so her husband could blackmail him. If you can understand that hip-hop, fast talk, rhyming stuff, and you aren't sitting behind a column the size of a certain billionaire's ego, you should enjoy it.