When I was first debating audition for the Knights on Broadway, I was neck deep in lyrics from the hit musical Hamilton. I'd spent a good portion of the summer making an attempt to learn every last word in My Shot, had a good handle on The Schuyler Sisters, was currently obsessed with Burn and was just beginning to aquatint myself with Guns and Ships, not to mention the numerous other numbers in the show. In fact, My Shot became one of the two songs that got me through auditions, as I distinctly remember listening to it on repeat alongside I Have Confidence from The Sound of Music as I got ready for and headed to callbacks. As we opened our Christmas show, it was My Shot that played in the opening video, Alexander Hamilton that we performed on stage, and Hamilton: An American Musical that provided the basis for the backstory to our show. All in all, one could say that Hamilton provided me with the encouragement to not throw away my own shot, and it brought me right back into the world of Broadway that I'd sort of lost in the years previous.
So when the idea of surprising Megan with tickets to see the Chicago production just wouldn't leave me alone, I sought out some balcony seats for a performance in May and prepared myself for the long months of waiting ahead. The worst part about waiting though? Not telling Megan. In fact, all of Knights on Broadway knew about the surprise and our director almost let the secret slip at one of our Christmas performances, but somehow I managed to keep things under wraps until Christmas Day, and needless to say, she loved the surprise.
When our chance to be in the room where it happens finally came around, it was absolutely one of the most surreal experiences of my life. In fact, the closest feeling I can compare it to was when we visited Great Sand Sand Dunes National Park last July, when even as we drove away, it still didn't feel real. Seeing a show like Hamilton is an experience in itself, in more ways than one, and something tells me it's not an experience I'll be able to replicate anytime soon.
First and foremost, Hamilton is an award winning show...one of the biggest actually. It won a near record number of Tony Awards in 2016, and has jumped to the top of the National Stage faster than most shows of its kind (who remembers 1776?!?). Hamilton has gained a dedicated fanbase, has impacted the way our population looks at musicals, and may just be one of the most important musicals of all time. When you see a production like that, it's incredibly inspiring.
Second, for someone like me, who has a very real personal connection to the show (how many people get to say they've had an opportunity to perform part of the show), it was incredible to see it come to life for real in front of my own eyes. There's something strange about forcing yourself to stop from singing the lyrics because you're so used to performing them (whether that be on the stage or in your car), and when you finally get to see a musical that you've loved for so long and has impacted you so much, the feeling is indescribable.
Hamilton is a musical for a new generation of Broadway Fans and Musical Lovers alike, and combines so much of what we've learned in the many years of Broadway with the identities of our country and world. It brings what we thought we knew about history into new light, and tells the story of those history overlooks. And above all else, Hamilton has inspired us to not throw away our shot, whatever that chance or opportunity might be. It sort of reminds me of the way Disney has consistently taught us to keep dreaming and moving forward, encouraging us to make the most of every door that opens to us, which is probably why Lin Manuel-Miranda fits in perfectly with Disney Legends we've been adoring for years (check out his work in Moana and the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns).
If you haven't had a chance to see Hamilton, it's now playing in three cities across the United States - New York, Chicago, and San Francisco - and will soon open a production in London as well as a touring company throughout the country! Tickets aren't necessarily cheap due to popularity, but trust me when I tell you that it's worth every penny...or ten dollar bill, if you get my drift.
Have a magical day!