Today is Lin-Manuel Miranda, Phillipa Soo, and Leslie Odom Jr’s last day as regular cast members of Hamilton. At the time of writing, it’s about half an hour before their last show. Miranda has talked (tweeted) repeatedly that it’s not his last time in the role, stating that “you’re gonna be so sick of me playing Hamilton one day.” (The Tweet)
Last weekend (2JUL16) I was lucky enough to score a ticket to the Saturday matinee of Hamilton. It probably wasn’t the most fiscally sound decision I’ve ever made.
It was TOTALLY worth it.
This isn’t really a review. How do you objectively review something that has had such an incredible sociological impact? How do you review something that you quote so often that your wife throws things at you?
I really only have two criticisms, and only one of those is of the show. For whatever reason, Lin-Manuel didn’t seem to be mic-ed properly, meaning sometimes his words got drowned out by the orchestra. The other is that I wasn’t able to share it with my wife. It just wasn’t feasible, but it’s the only regret I have. I’m sad that we won’t be able to share the original cast, but I’m very excited to see it with her in January. I think the replacements that they hired are really going to bring a pretty cool take to the show.
As to the show… oh lord. She told me to notice everything and report back. It was a magickal experience, from when King George told us to silence our cellphones, to walking back out of the theatre and into the sun, knowing that I’d just seen something that’ll replay in my head for the rest of my life.
So I did. I paid attention to the different costume changes, and how it reflected the scenes going around. During the second act, while Hamilton is playing the cad, and double dealing in back rooms, he gets black tights, and Burr is in white as he is trying to figure out how to get into the room where it happens. Lafayette has gold tassels and other fripperies, but the coat is military through and through, whereas Thomas Jefferson is in crushed velvet.
Staying with Daveed Diggs, it seems it’s impossible to keep him bottled up, but where Lafayette was purposeful movement, and measured action, Jefferson was very hammy, dancing around with jazz hands in his first number. Which became an interesting callback in the rap battle, as Miranda did it as well to mock him.
Miranda… Miranda was a trip. HIs facial expressions and motions throughout the entire thing are a joy to watch. Coming down the stops off the “boat”, he’s got this wide-eyed wonder thing happening, his mouth hanging open. When he’s talking about punching the bursar he pantomimes it hesitantly.
I loved watching the different styles of rap hands throughout the process, and seeing the choreography was pretty awesome. Surprised to learn that Eliza beatboxes during Phillip’s first song, and the vignette that’s not in the cast album was a tear jerker.
It was a hell of an experience. It really comes down to that. Worth every penny, passionately smashed every expectation.