Saturday, May 21, 2016

Hamilton Weekend

Another month gone by, photos still on my camera, nothing written down. We've been busy in that nice kind of way, the way filled with friends and visits and wine and laughter and outings. But there has been one constant in our hectic month. Whenever I ask either kid, hey what music do you want me to play (I usually let them choose), they always say... HAMILTON!

Broadway show tunes are one of those things that Zach and Naia and I can always agree on. But this one caught us all like a mad virus. For Zach, he loves all things history. He's always been my old timey boy. And the Revolutionary War era is one of his favorite periods of US history to study and read about. Living in the DC area, we have been lucky enough to immerse ourselves in places like Mt. Vernon and Yorktown, we've seen the Constitution first hand, we've been in the "room where it happened"more than once. So to have a whole musical all about our surroundings and his favorite time in US history was instant love for him. What's funny is that he's NOT a fan of rap or hiphop music. He's more of a classical and show tunes and classic rock guy. But suddenly, I am catching this tween rapping, so cute! Lin Manuel Miranda's genius got my old fashioned kid to like hiphop!

For me, I majored in US Government and Constitutional Law in college. Even though it has nothing do to with the career path I followed, it was something I was interested in and... it got me out with a degree in 3 years. So hearing them rap about the Federalist Papers and the founding of our government hits all my happy geek spots.

And Naia, well she just loves music. All music. Any music. She can't quite rap up to speed with the pros, but she knows the words better than all of us put together and it's about the cutest thing ever hearing her sing it all with her two front teeth missing.

I figured there was no way I'd ever get a chance to see the show. It's sold out for the next 18 months or so, and the tickets being sold by scalpers start at around $800 each and go up from there. We have the cast album, we have our imaginations and a few YouTube clips, we can work with that.

Until I got a message from an old friend. She was offering me a ticket to the show on Broadway. For Free. She said to meet her and her daughter and her daughter's best friend in NYC in 2 weeks for a Hamilton weekend for her daughter's 17th birthday. There was no way I could tell my kids about this. They would divorce me if they knew I was seeing the show without them. It was the longest 2 weeks of my life. I am terrible at keeping happy news a secret.

Instead I told the kids I was meeting a friend in NYC, and we were just going to hang out. And then I would tell them afterwards that I saw the show, but it was a surprise from my friend and I didn't know about ahead of time. Seems like they bought that story. Until they read this one day. Sorry guys!

 (The view from our hotel room in Times Square!)

As I rolled down the New Jersey Turnpike on my way to NYC, it hit me that I was going on a little trip alone without the kids. I don't think I realized that until I was sitting on the bus able to read a book. Gasp! It was such a treat to spend the weekend with an old friend, doing something I LOVE. The girls were awesome, and we had fun stalking the stage door for autographs and talking all about the show.

And yes, it totally lived up to the hype. It was spectacular. It was brilliant. Lin Manuel Miranda is a genius. Period. The entire ensemble was so jaw dropping fabulous. I would say if I had to pick a favorite though, Daveed Diggs who plays Lafayette and Jefferson, was off the hook amazing to see live. If there is any opportunity to see the show with the original cast, do it. I would see it every week if I could.

I brought home some swag for the kids. Zach was a little peeved about me getting to see the show without him. A bit of pouting, but also lots of curious questions and smiles when I regaled him with stories about his favorite numbers and what they were like live. Naia was happy to have all the goodies from the show. And I have an amazing memory that will stick with me forever.

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