Hamilton San Francisco

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Photo Courtesy of SF Gate

I WAS IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED!!!

That has been my favorite thing to say all month to anyone. I finally got to see award-winning musical, Hamilton! But before you go, “whoopee doo, lucky you”, just know I was in your shoes in December. Let me explain…

I’m very blessed to be surrounded by extremely cultured people at The Game of Nerds. They are constantly pushing me to experience new things and expand my “fandom life” even more. I have never seen any plays on New York’s Broadway. The extent of my play knowledge comes from my local high school theater program and my love of the PBS Special, Oklahoma. Yes, that one with Hugh Jackman.  The staff first got me hooked on Hamilton with specific songs and it wasn’t long before I was singing the entire album. Now there was no way I was going to make it to New York any time soon to see the original. So I was content with my music album and PBS specials to hold me over until I could actually see it.

Then they announced they would be doing a San Francisco show. I flipped out. I swore on my first unborn child, I was going to see Hamilton. Thankfully I have a husband who knows when I’m dead set on something, which is rare, go with it. We patiently ticked down the days until tickets would go on sale. My husband and I aren’t those cool people with the credit cards that let you in early or special connections. We had to get tickets like everyone else. So on December 12th, 2016 at 9AM, I sat my butt down in my office chair and logged SIX different devices in to get tickets. My husband, Andy, had two going as well while he was at work. In total we had ten chances to get tickets right? WRONG! We sat all day by the computer. Around 6:30pm that night a sign comes up in the waiting room saying “single seats only left”. By this time I’m hysterical crying about NOT seeing Hamilton on the floor of my kitchen. Yes, dramatic I know. But you know that feeling when you save up all your time and money for that one special thing and then it doesn’t end up happening at all.  It’s that feeling that there is nothing that can make you feel better other than that specific thing. That was Hamilton to me. I just assumed we weren’t going unless we won the lotto. Queue my knight in shining armor to the rescue, he manages to some how find tickets that are  one behind the other in our price range. I honestly didn’t care what seats they were, I was seeing Hamilton. Life could continue and I would have to…..

WAIT FOR IT! 

HAHAHAH! Get it! The actual event date couldn’t come fast enough. Now here is the twist to the story because I almost didn’t get to go. Our five-pound hellhound of a dog, Coco, had thrown her back out the night before and her back legs were paralyzed. We were distraught and more worried about our dog. I turned to Andy at the vet’s office and said the dreaded words, “Sell the tickets. I can’t leave her.” My husband, on the other hand,  knew I had counted down the days to Hamilton and how much it meant to me. After a sleepless night next to a whining puppy, I was depressed. I needed to just accept the fact that I never was going to see Hamilton, at least this year. That was until my doorbell rang that evening. My mother who lives over an hour away is at my door step screaming, “Why the hell aren’t you ready to go? You’ve got Hamilton to see and I’ve got grand puppies to snuggle.” (Yes, my mom is a freaking rock star!) I rushed to get ready, and we raced to San Francisco in just enough time. Remember that part where we got seats behind each other, yeah I forgot till we got there. As much as it sucked that I wasn’t going to sit next to my husband and poke him during my favorite parts, I was stoked just to be there. I got up to use the bathroom right before the performance and when I came back my husband is in the chair next to me. I looked at him very concerned and said “that’s someone’s seat!” Turns out the couple next to me had brought their roommate as a third wheel. He saw my husband and I chatting and asked him why we were sitting apart. During the time I was in the bathroom, my husband’s told him the whole story and he offered to switch seats. SHOUT OUT TO YOU YOUNG MAN! YOU WERE MY HERO FOR THE NIGHT!

So ladies and gentleman, I got to see Hamilton with my husband next to me. All worked out in the end. How was it, you ask? Mind blowing. Life changing. Soul Filling. I’ve seen the clips of the official Broadway performance and it got me excited. But nothing can prepare you for the sights, the sounds, and the feel of that bass in your chest while everyone is singing “ALEXANDER HAMILTON” at the top of their lungs.  The actors taking on the SF production are pure magic. Joshua Henry as Aaron Burr gives you straight up chills during Wait for It. He was hands down my favorite actor of the night. I couldn’t keep my eyes off him. This may be a personal quirk, but I have yet to find anyone who can do Lafaytte’s raps justice besides Daveed Diggs. After months of rapping Guns and Ships to myself, I felt like I was short-changed when it was finally preformed. I highly recommend listening to the album before seeing the production. I’ve talked to multiple friends who saw the production for the first time and said that was their major regret. Now they want to see it again because they know the music. Stubhub has tickets starting out at $1000+ a piece if that is within your budget. I will say this, I saw A LOT of kids there. As a nanny for the past decade, I can easily say this play is suitable for some children 10+ years and old because there is swearing and sexual references throughout. But there were a lot of kids who weren’t age appropriate to be there. So if you’re wondering where all the tickets went, it was that uncle who decided to bring fifteen seven years old to see Hamilton. I know it’s a “once in a lifetime opportunity” but when your six-year-old is asking “why they want to deflower the girls” in an open intermission, they are too young! Plus there is no guarantee they are going to like it. I watched two parents argue over paying $800 a ticket for their kid to play on their iPhone all night. So parents and families, be aware Hamilton is not for everyone!

For those dying to see the production in the future, I hope the odds are ever in your favor. It was a once in a lifetime experience I wish everyone could see. I hope that they will eventually release the recording of the original cast on programs like PBS so that kids get the opportunity to like I did to be immersed in the arts. Shows are currently playing in New York, London, Chicago, and San Francisco. Sixteen cities are going to be graced with Hamilton soon! You can find out more information on Hamilton on Tour here.

 

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Author: Shannon Parola

Instagram: @TheVIParolaz Twitter: @ZimsFAB

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