2016 was the year of Hamilton: An American Musical. Sure, the love affair began in 2015 – but the following year was when things really got out of hand. I saw the musical three times on Broadway, including once with the original cast. I traveled around the North East stalking the real people who made up of the cast of characters. I wrote a final paper about how it touts the American Dream ideology. It was pretty much all consuming.
This is the story of my 27th birthday though. It begins in the spring of 2016, when a limited block of tickets went on sale sneakily for later 2016 to early 2017 performances. I rushed to buy tickets for my actual birthday, December 7th, and ended up with two front row mezzanine seats – arguably some of the best seats in the house. Then the hard part, waiting for winter. (cue: endless Burr gifs)
After what felt like endless months, filled with my runnings around between historic sites and museums, the day finally arrived. My friend Liz joined me as my date for the evening, as she hadn’t seen Hamilton before. I had only met Liz that year, and had successfully destroyed her by making her into a fan of the cast recording. We were hyped as hell, and by the time December 7th rolled around, I’m pretty sure she was as excited as I was.
We laughed. We cried. We danced in our seats. We drank Hamilton themed cocktails. I ranted about inaccuracies during intermission, and she laughed at me, much to the confusion of those sitting around us. The view from our seats were amazing, too, which made me overjoyed. We had so much fun. After the show, we went to say “hello” and “thank you” to a member of staff who had helped another friend of ours with a group project / gift we had all worked to give to the cast and crew of Hamilton back in June. What happened next blew our minds… He let us go on stage to meet the cast… Yeah. Just. What?
Immediately after walking through the door to the fabled backstage area of the Richard Rodgers Theatre, we met a member of the cast – Jordan Fisher. NBD. I pulled out my phone and started broadcasting live on Facebook from the stage, as I spun in circles in awe and physically shook from excitement (to the point where the video shakes!) It was surreal to me to be on that stage, because my favorite musical of all time (1776) debuted on Broadway in that same theatre. In that same room! I WAS LITERALLY IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED – ON THE STAGE WHERE IT HAPPENED – FOR TWO MUSICALS THAT MEANT SO MUCH TO ME. Can you really blame me for shaking? We took pictures of the set, of the room, of our feet on the stage. We got to meet some of the cast, and they wished me happy birthday. And when we left for the night, in an actual haze of ‘what the hell just happened?’, we essentially skipped back to Penn Station. I’m not sure how any birthday could top this one. It was such an unexpected and amazing end to already wonderful day.
The song goes “Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now.”