“Revolution” – Past Masters, Volume Two
More like ‘American Revolution’, amirite?
Anyone every heard of it? If you haven’t you might be living under a rock because it’s huge. I mean, this thing is internationally acclaimed people. I’m obsessed. Hamilton: An American Musical is a Broadway musical about the life of American founding father, Alexander Hamilton. It is largely hip-hop and rap based music and its fantastic. If you’ve never heard it/seen it you probably think that it sounds crazy. And it is crazy… crazy good. (Go look it up if you’ve never listened and then come back and finish reading this blog.) I’ve been listening to the soundtrack since late 2015. The stage show is notorious for being consistently sold-out everywhere, including the Broadway, Chicago, West End, and American Tour productions. Tickets have to be bought months ahead of time, and they’re often SUPER expensive, I’m talking hundreds of dollars per ticket every single night even though the show is going on three years old. I figured I would never get the chance to see a live production of Hamilton. [because I definitely haven’t seen any bootleg recordings of the show..(😉) ]
Then I got to London and for a laugh I decided to check and see if any Hamilton tickets were available at a reasonable price. It took a while of searching but I finally found a ticket in the royal circle balcony (the first balcony) and get this, it was only £35!!!! Thats only like $50. That is ridiculously cheap for a Hamilton ticket! (Y’all I’m not joking when I say these suckers often sell for upwards of £200 [and even higher in the US] because of how popular this show is.) I had to buy two of these £35 tickets and decided that I would try to sell the second ticket to someone at Roehampton closer to the show because I was sure I’d be able to find another Hamilton fan. I bought these tickets on February 2. The show I was set to see wasn’t until May 16. I was pumped. Like I started jumping up and down and blasting the Hamilton soundtrack as soon as I clicked “Buy” on the TicketmasterUK website. This was going to be one of the highlights of my study abroad trip for sure.
My return ticket to the USA was bought for May 22, about a week after the date for my Hamilton tickets. I made sure I had plenty of time to see the show before I left. WELL… My dad called me last Wednesday with good news and bad news. The good news was, there is a pretty good chance that I might get a job this summer that I’ve been shooting for for a few years. The bad news is, I will have to leave London before May 14 in case I do get this job.
Now, if we’re all keeping up with this story, May 14 is two days before the date of my Hamilton tickets. I was CRUSHED. I’ve been building this show up in my mind for years and now I was going to have to give up my chance to see it. I admit, I cried. I felt super selfish for crying too, I didn’t want my parents to think that I didn’t want to come home (because I’m definitely not against going home a few weeks early tbh). And I didn’t want to be like some whiney, spoiled brat who throws a tantrum because she doesn’t get her way. Like, I’m in London. I’m traveling to different countries in Europe. I am completely and totally aware that I am most definitely not deprived. Which made me feel even more selfish. But thats not why I was crying, I wasn’t trying to like, guilt my parents into letting me stay in London for this show. I understood that I would have to what I have to do in case I got hired, this isn’t a job I should just give up on for one West End musical. But it was an involuntary reaction. I didn’t even realize I was crying at first, I was just super disappointed because of the years of expectations I had built up for this show. (I wasn’t exaggerating in the first paragraph when I said I was obsessed.)
I know there isn’t an actual rap battle between Burr and Ham in the show, but this was before I knew any better
but really, HIGHKEY
After the initial shock, I went to the Ticketmaster website to see if I could get money back for my tickets. The tickets for Hamilton West End are all electronic as a way for the company to try and combat scalpers, which means that Ticketmaster buys tickets back because you can’t sell them to other people. This was good for me because I don’t have to go through the process of trying to sell my tickets to someone else, I just have to wait for customer service to see grant me my refund. I also decided to see if there were any other tickets available before May 14. Searching for another ticket was going to be difficult because A.) tickets are less and less available as the date of the show gets closer and B.) I already have other trips to various cities paid for that I would have to plan around. I didn’t have much hope for being able to find another ticket. I searched dates backwards, I started looking for available tickets in May, then April, then March. May: sold out. April: I found two open dates, but tickets were £200 each. March: sold out at the end of the month, then a few open shows before that but super expensive, AND THEN.
AND THEN GUESS.
GUESS WHAT I FOUND.
ONE TICKET. IN THE ROYAL CIRCLE. FOR A SUPER REASONABLE PRICE.
FOR THE NEXT DAY.
THE VERY. NEXT. DAY.
It was a ticket for the Thursday matinee performance, and although I would have to skip class to make it to the theatre on time, I decided it was worth it. My parents told me to buy more tickets if I could find some. So I bought the ticket!!!
On Thursday morning I didn’t go to my class. I left super early because there was no way I was going to be late to this show. I ended up at the theatre 45 minutes before the doors opened. I was freaking out. I finally got inside the theatre and sat down. My seat was incredible. I was in the fifth row of the Royal Circle balcony, almost in the middle. When the music started, it took everything in my power not to jump out of my seat and start singing along. I could see every inch of the stage and the face of every actor that came out. The set was amazing. The lighting, choreography, costumes, all incredible. The music, I had already memorized from the cast recording so I was lip syncing along to the show, but it still blew my mind. I was afraid that I would be comparing everything (especially the singing) to the Original Broadway Cast, because of how familiar I was with listening to the voices of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Anthony Ramos, Christopher Jackson, Leslie Odom Jr., etc., etc. (obsessed.), but even the cast was spectacular. Jamael Westman, who played Alexander Hamilton, had some big shoes to fill, but he was wonderful. All of the King George songs, which poke fun of the monarch and the British Empire during and after the American Revolutionary War, seemed even more funny than usual (considering the British actor, British theatre, and majority British audience). The entire show was flawless from beginning to end. I even cried when one character died, even though I completely knew what was about to happen, it was that good. Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards, and the West End production is currently nominated for 13 Laurence Olivier Awards; it is most certainly not overstated, it deserves every single one of those awards/nominations.
View from my seat
Stage after the show
Victoria Palace Theatre
Victoria Palace Theatre
So all in all three really cool things came out of something that initially made me really upset:
- I still got to see Hamilton. I’m still freaking out. I could go on and on and on about this show for hours.
- I might get a really good job.
- I get to go home earlier! I get to see my family and my dog and my friends about two weeks sooner than I thought I would!!!!
I just had to get those initial reactions out of the way before I could spin zone the situation.
Anyways, ttyl, and everyone go listen to the Hamilton soundtrack, bye!!!