Hamilton


So I saw Hamilton a second time and it was still glorious. Waaaaaay back on June 21, 2016 I tried to get tickets to treat my mother for her Birthday that year. Due to everyone in Chicago wanting tickets Ticketmaster was not good for the Private Bank Theater. I ended up getting a pair for Feb 15th without really knowing where the seats were and then the website cleared up and I got a pair for October 26th which was in the first month. I let mom choose which date she wanted (it was October, February might be too cold) and I asked my friend Rachel if she wanted to go which she did.

Except two weeks out I reminded her we were seeing Hamilton the day after Valentine’s Day and she had forgot and made other plans. Now June to February is a long time except she specifically asked at Thanksgiving the exact date and wrote it down. Getting rid of an extra pair of tickets isn’t difficult and I ended up going with Jacq.

We had lunch at Lockwood at the Palmer House. It consisted of steak tartar, a roasted cauliflower and apple soup and mushroom pasta followed by a bread pudding. With a 1:30 start, the line to get in was around the block and past Blick Art store at 1:15. The people in front of us were talking about Obama going to see Hamilton in Chicago to which I interjected “President Obama doesn’t go to Hamilton, Hamilton goes to Obama!” They explained there were rumors the President was to be seeing a show in March.

The first time I saw Hamilton there was no real thought of Trump being president and while the show is by its very nature quite political, I didn’t have that sense when I saw it this first time. And while there was cheering before there was a lot more cheering this second time. Or maybe I was just aware of it more. I was paying attention to different things on this second viewing. I knew the story. I had the soundtrack. I had read some of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s annotated and behind the scenes book of The Book of Hamilton. So there was no mystery. Which is not to say it wasn’t thoroughly enjoyable.

The most surprising bit the first time was how wonderful the character of King George was. He was smarmy, a little flamboyant and completely stole the show. All in less than 10 minutes of stage time. I even learned the lyrics to his songs. I tend to either hide my emotions completely or wear them on my sleeve. I also saw La La Land with Jacq and remember her saying how she cried a little but didn’t want to do it in public while I had big heaving sobs during the alternate reality of the epilogue. I cried when he appeared I wanted to see him so badly.

The second viewing was drastically different in cast as we had different actors portraying Aaron Burr, George Washington and LaFayette/Jefferson. Wayne Brady was supposed to be playing Burr but had broken his leg. [Edit: Friends who went to see it early March did have Brady as Burr.] It was more of a passing thing. It was the little things that made the show this time. Like yhe fawning James Madison in the second act (“I wrote that!”) while the bigger things we’re not as strong as I was fully prepared for them.