If you love history or Broadway, especially if you geek out over both like me, and you haven’t heard Hamilton: The Original Broadway Cast Recording, I say, “Pardon me. Are you Aaron Burr, sir?”
If you count yourself as a #HamFam and sang the end of the previous sentence, and if you address your letters with a midwestern zip code to boot, I have great news for you: Hamilton’s national touring production announced it will open in Chicago, IL on September 27, 2016!
Starting this fall the touring company will play the PrivateBank Theater for what appears to be quite a healthy stint. That means you’ll have plenty of time to plan your road trip, and to try to get your hands on one of the hottest commodities among the theater set – a ticket.
Since the closest I have come to being “elite” in any way is my Starbucks Gold Card status, I haven’t attended a live performance of Lin-Manuel Miranda’ musical zeitgeist. I am not alone in my
sad non-ticketed status, but I am okay with that. I understand you must be the President, who has seen it twice, or willing to forfeit your soul and all of your worldly possessions for a ticket. (Editors note: Upon learning prices on resale sites start at $300 a ticket payable only in American currency, the writer wishes to amend the previous statement. She would like to further add that attempts at offering futons and her life force in exchange for seats were unsuccessful and frowned upon.)
However, according to reviews by fancy-pants theater writers qualified to write about such things, most of the show is by way of song with very little dialogue. Lucky for plebes like me, that means the soundtrack is a fairly comprehensive primer. And if you count listening to the soundtrack so often my toddler knows the chorus for quite a few songs, consider me primed.
The original Broadway cast recording was released on Atlantic Records in September 2015, and on Monday, December 7 the album (do we call them that anymore?) snagged a Grammy nomination – the second for Miranda who won a 2008 Grammy for In the Heights. The soundtrack made history when it debuted at number twelve on the Billboard Charts, the highest for a cast recording since 1963. I am of the camp that if Miranda doesn’t get a Tony for Hamilton I literally won’t be able to even, then I’ll throw my Ugg and Pumpkin Spice Latte at something.
Basically, Hamilton is kind of a big deal. Therefore, my duty as a theater dork and a history nerd is to oblige those who haven’t had a listen to get ye over to Spotify or iTunes and resolve this oversight.
Since the recording’s release brought Hamilton to a wider audience the internet has become thick with Hamilton fandoms, a nice compliment to the nonstop buzz among the theater elite since it opened Off Broadway in January 2015. If I had to guess, I’d say greater accessibility is making Mr. Miranda proud since the production is a love letter to the American Dream made immediate for today’s audiences not only with a contemporary score, but also through the diverse casting of the Founding Fathers to better reflect today’s America and her dreamers.
Tickets for the Chicago performances haven’t gone on sale, but when I ask my Magic 8 Ball if they will be sold out it says, “It is decidedly so.” As I do with most of life’s big questions, I trust the wisdom of the floating icosahedral die, and anticipate I won’t be seeing Hamilton until my children have graduated college. But hey, crazier things have happened than a Midwestern mom with her Starbucks Gold Card securing tickets without packing a sad, small suitcase to send off with her first born. For instance, an orphaned immigrant Founding Father who was forgotten by time being sky-rocketed to fame and familiarity centuries after his death via a hip-hop musical. Theater is magic like that.
Meanwhile, I’ll just keep singing about the Battle of Yorktown in the shower, and placate myself with episodes of Downton Abbey when it comes back for it’s final season in January. I’ll probably never be satisfied.
About the author: Melody Meiners is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, editor, and ghostwriter for hire. When she isn’t writing or reading words, she spends her time devouring all of the pop-culture and theater. You can find her on Twitter (@cosmosgirl) when she really should be writing, and you can read her pithy jokes about her children on her blog (MrsSmartyPants.com).
Melody Meiners is a freelance writer, developmental editor, and ghostwriter for hire located in St Louis, MO. When she isn’t writing or reading words, she spends her time devouring all of the pop-culture or teaching fiction writing and literature classes for STLCC @ Meramec’s CE program. You can find her on Twitter (@cosmosgirl) when she really should be writing, and you can read her pithy jokes about her children on her blog (MrsSmartyPants.com).