A hit show. A global awe. A story that only one man ever thought about to take from the 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton to take it on stage. Welcome to a blog that was my birthday treat while in San Francisco….Hamilton: The Musical.
What was the event?
What: Hamilton: The Musical
Where: Orpheum theatre – san francisco
When: 14th August 2019
Let the story begin…
“HOWS DOES A BASTARD, ORPHAN, SON OF A WHORE…” and so the show begins. In 2009 Lin Manuel Miranda was invited to perform poetry and music from his Broadway musical “In the Heights” at the Barack Obama White House. However, going off script he performed something he was working on which we now know as Hamilton. It was laughed at first but this was the first glimpse that anyone heard the words and the work of Hamilton. Why would anyone do a musical about history of US politics? And so it was born…
In 2015 the show was created Off Broadway. But four years later the show has now toured the US, based in New York Broadway and developed a home in the Londons West End in 2017. Swiping the floor with Tony Awards in 2017 the Tonys may have as well been called the Hamiltons. Lin Manuel Miranda is a household name – which is a rare but i would say he’s more famous than Justin Bieber…maybe. After seeing the show I now understand why the euphoric excitement. I have been fortunate to have followed its developed since 2009 so I understood the show but also after nearly 10 years from that original performance I was at the point of GET ME THERE. When I had the chance to see the show in San Francisco I jumped on it like a 110 Olympics Hurdle Final.
To firstly say what some of my negative observations were included lack of diversity in the audience. Hamilton has became a top dollar show, which is more than a small penny to see – with some tickets going for $600. Now, this is a global problem when it comes to theatre. The expensive cost to see a theatre show immediately eliminates certain audiences. It was mainly people wearing pearls on a Wednesday afternoon that I was walking behind…I forgot my pearls that day.
However, although I paid $95 it was worth it. It was absolutely worth seeing the story come alive. The theatre was full – packed. Theatres are quite out of date when it comes to “customer journeys” so this was one of the negative points. Making a customer journey at the heart of what a theatre do is exactly what I think they have missed. Entering I was met with a gentleman who I think would rather have been watching Dr Phil on the TV with his feet up and cold beer in his hand as he scanned the ticket with no smile appearing. Instead really it should be “YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE A GLOBAL PHENUMONAN….ARE YOU READY….” I mean maybe not that over excitable but most certainly different than what was meeting me the now – some people have paid $450 for todays show – a smile should be included in ticket package. Once i stepped into the theatre the usual carpet designs met my feet – gold swirls on “bright” red.
But the reason I was here was not to admire or critique the theatre it was to see the GREATEST MUSICAL ever and it did not disappoint. The stage set was sitting waiting for us as everyone got photographs to capture the moment of being there. I was absolutely in awe as the beat dropped and….2 hours and 45 minutes later – I am in love more with Hamilton. The harmonies, the music and the overall production was just outstanding. Costumes were amazing and just watching a show I looked up to was emotionally exciting.
The only thing that was missing was the fact that globally this show is “the show”. It’s overtaken every show in terms of global excitement and especially in 2019 a show that can bring light and laughter to American politics – well I mean there is another comedy at the moment but it is for sure more structured and musically much better…The overall show pushes boundaries of music and rapping in a theatre – never done before – but there is so many opportunities to widen the overall production. I think these days more than just the stage should be the focus. It should be about coming in and there is Hamilton music playing in the foyer or the merchandise units coming alive with a production of activation – exciting moments. But no we are still in static mode for engagement – maybe one day…It should be about leaving and there is a final sing song orchestrated in the foyer or on the street – dream on maybe but its possible.
One thing to take away…
I went to Hamilton so that’s for sure a take away. I fully believe Hamilton has the opportunity to break down social class boundaries – due to its influence in society. Go and perform a pop up in deprived areas and not just about positive financial pockets. Yes, this could be viewed to devalue the worth of the product but actually it would add so much more…