Hamilton, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 2015 and All That Followed

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who picked up his third and fourth Tonys for Best Book and Score of a Musical, and Cynthia Erivo, who picked up her first Tony for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. Image via Broadway.com.

Well, it’s finally over: Hamilton is no longer eligible for theatre awards, with the exception of a few Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards. Over the last year and a half, the show has won Lucille Lortel Awards, Outer Critics Circle Awards, Drama League Awards, Drama Desk Awards, New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, Off Broadway Alliance Awards, Theatre World Awards, Obie Awards, Fred and Adele Astaire Awards, Grammy Awards,Tony Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize. And I’m not even naming them all.

The Tonys are Broadway Christmas. And similar to the actual Christmas in December, I tend to be pretty sad once it’s over. The night before the Tonys, I realized that 24 hours from then it would be over, and I got sad. I’ve been looking forward to that night for months, and then in three short hours, it would be over. But still, I sat on my couch, glued to the screen for those hours. I watched every second of it – commercials and all. It was the best Broadway Christmas ever.

James Corden was an entertaining and classy host, choosing to cold open the show with an address to Orlando. But then, the show was on the road, and he shuffled through twenty different references to shows in his five-minute opening number. Tony history was made

when all four musical performance awards went to black actors (more awards in one night than the Oscars have handed out to black actors over the last nine years), and my predictions on Show-Score were 79% correct (19/24… Hamilton missed one creative arts

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 12.17.31 AM
My Show-Score prediction results. Suck it, 21,524 other people!

category and I missed predicting some play categories). Cynthia Erivo brought the house to its feet when she performed a portion of “I’m Here” from The Color Purple (watch it PLEASE). For Hamilton‘s standalone performance song, they did two songs that hadn’t yet seen the light of television: “History Has Its Eyes On You” and “Yorktown.” Though they generally perform these songs with prop muskets, they left them out, and millions of people listened to Hamilton command his troops to “take the bullets out your gun.”

When they began the In Memoriam segment at 9:55 (local time), I knew the show was going to run long. Usually this isn’t a problem for me: more Tonys? I’ll take it. But there was something happening at 10:10 that really required my undivided attention. The next batch of Hamilton tickets were going on sale.

A few weeks earlier, I took a leap of faith and booked a trip to New York for my fiancé and I over my reading week in February. I figured I’d try for Ham tickets, and if not, we’d go and have a great time anyway. I was way more chill on the outside than the inside about this. At 10:09, I was sweating. I had two separate browsers open on my laptop, another on a different computer, and the Ticketmaster app on my phone open. I missed Hamilton getting the Best Musical award entirely. As soon as the awards ended, I ran downstairs to be next to my router and I started waiting in the virtual queues.

“Please sit tight, your wait time is around nine minutes.” Those are my least favourite words in the world, or they were that night. I refreshed over and over again, but I couldn’t get through to tickets on either of the computers. And yet, my phone was still loading. And then, there they were: two seats, house left back orchestra. I’ve never watched my phone so much in my life. It took maybe fifteen minutes for the whole transaction to go through, but I wasn’t kicked out of the queue. I got my email confirmation. And I’m going to go see Hamilton on Broadway.

My Tony high was never lost after all. I woke up the next day and cried, because I saw that email confirmation in my inbox and it was real. It’s still real. It’s like when I saw *NSYNC when I was seven – I don’t think I’ve wanted tickets to anything as much since then. And although some of (if not most of) the original cast is leaving when their contracts are up in July, that’s somehow even more exciting for me – I’ll get to see a new cast’s interpretation of this story.

2017 is shaping up to be a big year for me. I’m graduating from two different post-secondary schools. I’m getting married. And I’m seeing Hamilton.


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