We were anxiously looking forward to the Fourth of July weekend. Not for the barbecue, not for the beach, not for the fireworks but for the debut of Hamilton on Disney+. As a child, I did not attend theater performances often. A trip to Annie with my cousins is a fond memory, but after a group of colleagues introduced me to Broadway as a young teacher, I have tried to see a show at least once, maybe twice in a good year in the city. Who has not heard the buzz about Hamilton? Splurging on tickets to this show just wasn’t a choice I made and rather chose other shows that were most enjoyable. I had accepted that I was unlikely to see Hamilton in the Richard Rodgers Theater or with this amazing original cast. Even my kids, only one of whom has seen a live show, were awaiting the event. I was fortunate to see Lin-Manuel Miranda in In the Heights Off-Broadway, and my kids’ familiarity with him dates back to his rapping about hard and soft g or bossy r sounds on The Electric Company. As Friday arrived, the plans were in place. As soon as everyone was home and the pizza was eaten, we would gather in the family room, no cell phones allowed, and watch. Unlike some other fans who have not seen the show either, I had not listened to the soundtrack as I would not see a movie before I read the book. As excited as I was, there was a skepticism I couldn’t shake. There is nothing like real theater right? Could it live up to the expectation? For us, it did not disappoint. It may not have been the same as a live theater performance, but the thrill was there and in many ways we had the best seats in the house. Yes, it was a too up close and personal view of King George’s spit traveling, especially in a time when this takes on a whole new meaning, but not of the tears falling from Eliza Hamilton’s face- something we may have missed from different seats. We were immediately drawn to the catchy songs mixed with hip hop, R&B, and classic show tunes and can’t seem to shake, “It must be nice,” from our heads. Despite those that want to critique the historical truth, we took it in, questioned the history, and researched a bit more to clarify and learn. We appreciated the angles and views chosen for us that directed us where to attend. We even watched it a second time with a deeper appreciation. It may not have been in person, but we have joined the group of “have seens”. So, we enjoyed fireworks this weekend. A spark for theater was ignited. We can now “talk less” about the price of tickets and “smile more” at the experience.
And, I now give myself permission to upload the soundtrack.