Last night, I was finally able to see Hamilton on Broadway. It was everything I expected, and what I needed two days after the election didn’t go as I’d hoped.
As we pulled out of our driveway to head into NYC, our Waze app told us we would arrive with plenty of time to seek out a free parking spot. We’d be able to head over to the Hamilton pop-up shop across the street, grab a cocktail, settle in before the 7pm curtain.
Instead, we sat in traffic, following serpentine detours as Waze tried desperately to get us there by show time. Why the traffic? Who knows. Just the usual chaos. I mostly avoided panicking.
We made it to 8th Ave. at 6:45. My husband offered to drop me off so I wouldn’t be more delayed by parking the car. I pulled up Google maps and compared the travel time of driving vs. walking. They stayed about the same, until finally we reached 46th St.
I jumped out of the car and speed walked (which is normal walking in NYC) up to the Richard Rodgers Theater. I took a quick “I made it!” selfie in front of the marquee, zipped past the cancellation line and arrived at my seat at 6:58.
My husband was there with me before I even sat down. He convinced the guy in the lot across the street to take our car despite “only monthly spots available.”
After listening to the original cast countless times, I wondered how I would respond to the performers. Most are more recent additions to the cast.
It took a couple songs, but I soon warmed up to Brandon Victor Dixon as Aaron Burr, as he added subtle comedic flourishes with both voice & body.
Javier Muñoz captures the swagger and the vulnerability of Alexander Hamilton. He’s like a smooth buttery version of Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The other cast members added personal twists that kept things interesting. Mandy Gonzalez made me wish I had a wise older sister. Seth Stewart as Lafayette/Jefferson & Rory O’Malley as King George carried their laughs. King George could easily have been singing to Donald Trump during What Comes Next- “do you know how hard it is to lead?”
Syndee Winters as Maria deserved an applause break (why is there not an applause break after Say No to This?) but I’m such a huge fan of Jasmine Cephas Jones unique voice that I admit I missed her.
I was thrilled that we were able to catch Christopher Jackson in one of his final performances as George Washington. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was thinking of President Obama during One Last Time. Jackson brought the house down.
Finally, Andrew Chappelle, as Laurens/Phillip, is a master of the death scene.
As we left the theater and made our way through Times Square, things seemed… normal. The spontaneous anti-Trump protests that had erupted the night before were taking a night off.
New York smelled like chocolate and felt like New York.