Five years too late, I'm on 'Hamilton' bandwagon
Last updated 7/15/2020 at 11:25pm | View PDF
I'm often late to the party.
I started listening to Steve and Garry on the Loop in August 1993, just about a month before the two ended their 15-year run.
I became a fan of The Rolling Stones in the late 1980s, a good two decades after they had their first No. 1 hit.
I currently own an iPhone 7, when the iPhone 11 has been out for almost nine months.
I blame this deficiency on my parents, who did an even poorer job keeping up with the times than I do. I'm convinced they completely missed the '60s - even though they were young adults at the time. And they chose 8-tracks over cassettes when it came time to invest in new technology to replace the record player. So you see where I get it from.
You will not be surprised to learn, then, that my first viewing of "Hamilton" was earlier this month, thanks to Disney+.
I'm guessing most people in Hinsdale have already seen the musical, possibly multiple times and perhaps in New York. I am certain that, among those who performed in "Hinsdamilton," the 2016 Community Revue, I am the last to see the show that inspired its title.
We thought about going in 2017, but we got much better seats at a third of the cost to see "Something Rotten," which had been highly recommended and focused on a time period (William Shakespeare's) that I honestly was more interested in.
That is only because I didn't know any better.
I confess I have fallen under the spell of "Hamilton" - all from watching it on the TV in my family room. Split over two nights, no less.
I also should confess I was under the impression that the vast majority of the musical was rap, which is not the case. Just as there is so much more to Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" than the song that has become the theme music for the "Omen" movies, there is so much more to "Hamilton" than rap.
I think my favorite number is "The Schuyler Sisters" (known to me previously as "The Starbucks Sisters" from the revue). The song is skillfully written, flawlessly performed and impeccably staged, the hallmark of just about every number in this musical.
Jonathan Groff's "You'll be Back" is a show stopper, too.
Having the show available on Disney+ is great because you can see the amazing original cast - and you can fast-forward to any number you want to watch a second or third or maybe fourth time.
If you are lucky enough to work with one of the three other people who has not yet seen the show, you can force - I mean invite - them to watch these numbers on your laptop. Just ask Jim Slonoff - my business partner and fellow "Hinsdamilton" castmate - how much he has enjoyed these little breaks in our work day.
I imagine I would love "Hamilton" just as much if I had not been part of a show that paid it homage, if in a slightly twisted way. I must say I appreciate everything about our little musical comedy fundraiser more - from the brilliant re-writes of the lyrics to our unbelievable replica of the set - having seen the real thing for myself.
I suppose the 11 Tony awards the musical won in 2016 should have convinced me the show would live up to its hype. Only one other musical - "The Producers" - has more Tony awards, with 12.
I did go to that musical in New York. As you might expect, I was too late to see Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane in the starring roles.
- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected]