Went to see Hamilton a coupla weeks back or so. King George did well to put the HAM in Hamilton, that’s for sure! Outlandish line delivery. Big laughs with the utterance of just one word, let alone a whole line. Each time he was on stage, Shane blushed and laughed nearly sheepishly as though he were personally responsible for the king’s words. Surely there’s a statute of limitations on these things- Shane came to the U.S. at fifteen, he’s just over double that in age now, he can relax a little, I think. Bean’s seemed to’ve made their home motto “immigrants, we get the job done,” which is fine by me as I subscribe to The White Stripes’ “white Americans, what? Nothing better to do? Why don’t you kick yourself out? You’re an immigrant too.” My family just got here sooner than some. My dad says we’re linked to those that came over on the Mayflower, but I haven’t found the connection yet. Though my parents surprised me by being quite accurate in relaying my ancestral roots, at least according to last year’s DNA test results. Are those things a crock, I wonder? Still, there were three surprises on there that I wanna know more about.
We stood around on the sidewalk after the show to catch an autograph or two from the cast. The actor playing the king was the first out. He looked into the face of each person whose playbill he signed, but most kept looking down, and just mumbled “thank you.” When he reached me, I looked up brightly with a “cheerio!” realizing instantly that means goodbye. He seemed startled more than anything which wasn’t the effect I was going for- he could’ve countered with a “you say goodbye, I say hello,” but left hanging was I. We left shortly after, as Shane wanted to meet the king, and having done so, Bean was satisfied to pass on the rest of the cast, because despite their splendiferousness, she summed it up in proclaiming it’s not Miranda nor Diggs. I think the bitterly cold wind, an at-home Edie, and a 4-ish a.m. Shane wake up time may’ve had more to do with it.
Drawing by Christina Wald
Bean’s been uber-obsessed with the play since first laying ears on it, calling me to tell me I needed to buy the soundtrack and learn it (I’d already had it for a week at that point). It may be the thing Edie listened to the most while on her nine month incubated journey. Bean queued up the PBS documentary, Hamilton’s America, when it was first available and had me watch. She was taken with the making of it all, where I was stuck on the admirable idea that Miranda said he was going on vacation and looking for something to read, and chose a Hamilton biography, not the typical person’s choice for a vacation read. I’d receive periodic updates on film clips showcasing Daveed Diggs rapping fast. Then last summer, we were driving home late from seeing a show in downtown Seattle, Gaffigan possibly, and drove by a theatre with Diggs’s name up on the marquee leaving Bean bummed to have missed that he was in town performing.
Drawing by Christina Wald
I’m conflicted on the following: the show has raked in heaps and heaps of money which is great! Because demand’s been high, the ticket prices have been ridiculously so as well meaning audiences are filled with predominantly rich older white folks, which one could argue is a demographic that could stand to sit, listen, and learn to relate. However, it seems a waste that a cast comprised of many people of color in positions of historical significance isn’t more accessible to the masses through more than classroom field trips, student discounts, and same-day lowered rate performances would allow. Glad to read that Miranda will reprise the title roll next January in Puerto Rico where all that money could help bring an economical boost via tourism for the island. Not that I needed one, as my heart is nearly always affixed to my sleeve except for when served up on a platter, but our newest team member at work is from Puerto Rico and has had her mom who still resides there, living with her here in Tacoma for the last several months due to the continued power outage. Nothing like a first hand account to make struggles all the more real, and to make it all the easier to appreciate efforts to relieve them. ♦
The ad showcased in the featured image is from Broadway’s First Hamilton.