To be honest, I didn’t know much about Hamilton on Broadway other than “it’s the hottest (and hardest) ticket to get” and something about the revolving list of actors playing the King. I didn’t listen to the soundtrack, didn’t have the t-shirt or lament on Facebook about never winning the line lottery. All I did was watch the Tony Awards and wonder if I can find one ticket to Hamilton. So I went online to the Hamilton website where it had just posted “after the Tonys, a new block of tickets will go on sale” and thought it was meant to be. But then I had to wait for the show to end and of course being telecast live, it didn’t end on time.
Hamilton – Buying Tickets Online
During my wait, I sent a note to a Facebook friend who was a massive fan – she had the soundtrack and had been trying to get tickets for her family of four for a while. She was super excited and had her husband on one laptop while she was at the ready on hers. As for me, I was also ready to “GO!” and find my one ticket to Hamilton – surely there would be just one lonely ticket available in this block of tickets. I actually found four tickets (for my family) in one window and made the mistake of having another window open in the same browser where I had found two seats (me and a friend). When I went to “buy” the seats, the error returned that I had two browsers open and had to start all over – now I was ten minutes into the sale, would I have a chance?
It was September and while my friend found four seats in December for her family, I found one ticket to Hamilton in March and had to wait a whole six months! Despite the absurdity of ticket fees added onto the already pricey upper orchestra seat, I hit “buy” and that aisle seat was mine – all for the low, low, price of $248.25 (ridiculous I know, I could have sold the ticket on Stubhub and turned a profit).
Hamilton Box Office Ticket Pickup
Again, I was going in blind to what I was going to see. I had arrived in New York City a day early and went to the box office to pick up my ticket in my attempt to avoid the massive lines. I’m old school and wanted the actual ticket to the show rather than print at home, plus I liked the security of having the ticket at the box office rather than carry it and risk losing it. I was told that the ticket would arrive 30 minutes prior to the show (thwarting my attempt at retrieving it early) but if I timed it correctly, I would pick up my ticket and stroll in as the box office had its own line and entrance doors – no need to go back outside to the end of the line.
When I arrived near the theater, I had to walk in the street avoiding cars to get to the box office. There were a few lines for tickets – that line was for the lottery, that line was for ticket holders, I’m not sure what that line was but I walked to the front of all the lines with a few glances of course and was told by staff to get in this line for box office (only two people ahead of me). When I walked in and up to the box office window to get my ticket, the ushers opened the doors and I had timed it perfectly! I picked up my lonely one ticket to Hamilton and the usher quickly scanned it and I was one of the first people into the Richard Rodgers theatre.
Hamilton – the Ladies Room Escape Plan
With every theatre visit, I scope out (and map my escape) to the most important location – the ladies room! Generally located in the basement, I needed to figure out the quickest way to get there at intermission. As I climbed the two flights of stairs to the upper orchestra, I mentally mapped my route, noting to stay left and dart across the lobby when the time came. At my seat, I noted both the number of steps to climb (four) and scanned the Playbill for the last song performed before intermission (“Non-Stop”). Now, I had my ladies room escape all ready – up four steps, make a right, down two flights of stairs staying on the left, dart across the lobby avoiding bar and souvenir patrons and down the two flights of stairs to the basement. If the bathroom run was a sport, I’d be a gold or at least silver medalist. During intermission, I would be one of the first to arrive at the ladies room with other “runners” rather than wait in the lines that wrapped around the stairs and into the orchestra section of the theatre.
Hamilton – Orchestra Seating
All theatres differ in the location of “orchestra seats”. For my one ticket to Hamilton, I had to climb the two flights of stairs to the back section of the orchestra which was located under the mezzanine ceiling but still with a good unobstructed view of the stage. Note that “standing room only” spaces that those in the lottery won ($10 each) while only a few rows behind me had obstructed views of the performances on the upper stage.
As the seats started to fill, the excitement was palpable – kids (and adults) were taking selfies, people were clinging to their $40 t-shirts and $20 program books while others moved closer to the stage for their pictures. The last time I experienced this type of excitement was the first season of Wicked when I saw Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth – they were electric so I wondered if the cast of Hamilton would be the same.
Hamilton, The Musical
Well, history can be boring but Hamilton has managed to weave in a fantastic production from start to finish. It was a Saturday matinée and I was hooked – on every word, each movement, the dancing, the intricate choreography, the costumes. If you fancy yourself a musical theatre fan, you will enjoy the classic Broadway production with the updates that make this a modern classic. There are only a few parts that rap but it actually makes sense and blends in seamlessly.
A highlight for me was Taran Killiam as King George. He received a welcome applause on his entrance and that’s when I realized who he was (a former Saturday Night Live player). The King has gone through a few famous Broadway faces and is only on stage for about ten minutes but he really has the best parts to move the action, make you think and realize why the folks ran away from Britain to start the new world. Plus he is hilarious and it’s the laughter than bring levity to the history. This is the role he is meant to play!
Overall – One Ticket to Hamilton
I’m definitely a fan now and want to know more about Alexander Hamilton. It thought my history books gave me the highlights but Hamilton, the Musical on Broadway brought the facts to life in a way that becomes more memorable. All that hype? Totally worth it! Hamilton is reboot for a modern audience while also celebrating the classic Broadway musical we’ve grown up on. So I’d suggest signing up for the email updates to learn of the next ticket sale and buy your one ticket to Hamilton (or more) for a fun day/night at the theatre learning (or revisiting) history in a fun way. Hamilton is also traveling to city near you – if near you is Chicago or London. But Broadway is always a fun travel experience giving you a reason to visit New York City for a luxury weekend (hotel, dinner and a show).