Hello there, Northeast Ohio. Alicia Hansen – mom, blogger, event professional, yoga teacher and Hamilton super fan here. (Not self-proclaimed – I’ve been bestowed that title!)
If you consider yourself to be culturally “with it”, a supporter of the arts in Cleveland or just a citizen of our fair area, you have had to have heard that Hamilton: An American Musical has come to town for a six-week run at Playhouse Square. The show opened at the KeyBank State Theatre on July 24th and has already wow-ed thousands of Northeast Ohioan in a short amount of time.
So you’re wondering why should you see this touring production? And you may be wondering why I’m the girl to tell you why? Well!…
THINGS ABOUT ME YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- I grew up performing – singing, acting, dancing. If I was awake, there was a good chance I was on stage!
- My mom took me to see my first musical when I was 8 years old. It was West Side Story at the old Carousel Dinner Theater in Akron. I had chicken pox and my mom took me anyways. (You can see where I get my love of the theater from! #thanksMom)
- I have a theatre major from Baldwin-Wallace. Proud to be locally born, raised and educated!
- I can have a pretty addictive personality so when I fall in love with something, I fall HARD – and Hamilton was no exception.
Enough about me – it’s time you get to know more about this show…
HAMILTON FAST FUN FACTS:
- The piece achieved critical acclaim and box office success thanks to its creator’s, Lin-Manuel Miranda, incorporation of hip hop, R&B, pop, show tunes and color-conscious casting of non-white actors as the founding fathers and additional historical figures.
- The musical tells Alexander Hamilton’s story through major events in his life as well as American history. The character of Aaron Burr is written into the show as a narrator of sorts while Alexander plays an important role on Burr’s life.
- In 2016, Hamilton received a record-setting 16 Tony nominations, winning 11, including Best Musical.
- Permanent productions of Hamilton currently are running in Chicago and in the West End of London. Two U.S. tours are also out on the road – the Philip tour (named after Hamilton’s son, a character in the musical) is the one that made its stop here in Cleveland.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
- Listen to the soundtrack in advance: Now, I know some people want to leave the production to surprise, which I normally can appreciate. The thing about Hamilton is that with so much lyrically happening (which is one of the reasons why Miranda chooses rap to tell the story – he can fit more words in to the same amount of time), there’s a lot to miss if you’re waiting until you’re in the theater to experience it for the first time. Do yourself a favor and listen to the entire thing at least once. I promise it won’t spoil your visit to see it in-person.
- Give yourself extra time: The kind folks at Playhouse Square are trying to get more than 3000 theater lovers into the KeyBank State Theatre before every performance in a calm, orderly fashion. Arrive early, have your tickets ready, be ready for a quick security stop and listen to the Red Coats – no, not the Revolutionary War British soldiers – the kind volunteer ushers of Playhouse Square!
- Stop by the merch booth: If you’re a super fan like I am, there is plenty to buy at the two merchandise booths located in the lobby of the theater. From shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, musical scores, even shot glasses (don’t throw away your shot!) – there’s something for everyone!
- Grab a drink: The Playhouse Square food and beverage team always comes up with a fun cocktail for each of their KeyBank Broadway Series shows, and Hamilton is no exception. Spoiler: if you’re a gin fan, you won’t be disappointed.
…and then sit back, relax, turn your phone off and enjoy the musical theater masterpiece of our time.
YOU CAME, YOU SAW, YOU WANT MORE – NOW WHAT?
- Read the book that started it all: Miranda read the book Hamilton: The Biography by Ron Chernow while he was on vacation and was incredibly inspired by a poem that Hamilton wrote. That was the start to Miranda’s work in creating the musical and our nationwide obsession with one of America’s founding fathers.
- Download the app: Learn more about the production, tour, facts and more – download the app today, available on iOS and Google Play.
- Sign up for the ticket lottery: The show’s ticket lottery gives people the chance to see Hamilton for the low price of $10, which Alexander Hamilton’s face is on! Before every show, a limited amount of front row tickets are up for grabs for only $10 each – but you can only enter the lottery via the app. (Just in case you needed another reason to download it!)
- Take in a Broadway Buzz Pre-Performance Talk: Get the inside scoop on the piece from Playhouse Square’s own and Broadway Buzz host Joe Garry one hour before most performances. Best yet: it’s FREE to attend! Dates and details here.
- Take a Hamilton inspired yoga class: Say what?! That’s right – I offer a HAMILflow yoga class inspired by the musical! I lead students through a vinyasa yoga flow featuring the music of the musical and inspired by it – that includes the Hamildrops and Mixtape remixes. (Check out Spotify for each of those options as well.) The next session is Friday, July 27th – details here.
Don’t “Wait For It” – get your tickets to this smash Broadway hit before it’s too late. Visit the Playhouse Square website for more information.