Traveling from Cooper City to Orlando to see “Hamilton,” the Bruno Mars of Broadway, was a small cost to pay in addition to the astronomical ticket price. After hearing the soundtrack for the first time my freshman year, it became a dream of mine to see the show live. A dream that, thanks to my grandmother, was realized as a birthday present.
Years of memorizing the soundtrack in preparation for the day that I would get to see the show built up to that moment as I stepped through the theater doors. I walked into the Walt Disney Theatre at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, hands shaking from excitement to arrive at an empty space where my seat was. The seats had been unbolted from the ground at the last show and had never been returned.
After a good laugh and the theater staff re-bolting the seats to the ground, my cousins and I took our seats only to discover that our view was obstructed by a very tall gentleman in front of us. But some rubbernecking resulted in a view of the stage, as nothing would stop us from seeing the show. Not even the mountain man’s drunk friend who provided the theater with commentary.
And let me just say, I don’t think anything will top that experience. The crowd buzzed with excitement and the show was incredible. Though it seemed to have a weak start, the songs and their performances continued to build on top of each other, taking everyone on a rollercoaster of emotions.
The songs and their performances continued to build on top of each other, taking everyone on a rollercoaster of emotions.
King George (Jon Patrick Walker), Hercules Mulligan (King David Jones) and John Laurens (Eean S. Cochran) all provided hysterical comedic relief without taking away from the severity of the show’s subject matter.
The set, though simplistic, was perfect for the musical due to its moving components and the ensemble using the stage to tell a story with choreography rather than overly relying on props. The lighting helped to make the show spectacular. Seeming more like lights at a concert than those of a Broadway show, they helped to build the excitement among audience members.
The harmonies were perfectly executed and sounded nearly identical to those on the recorded soundtrack. This was an amazing feat, considering that everyone on stage was dancing and constantly moving set pieces. I simply cannot verbalize how amazing the production was.
As the show ended and the audience stood and applauded, I took a look around and noticed that something was different from all of the shows I’ve attended before— no one was the same. It seemed that the diversity on the stage was reflected in the audience, and that was when I got it.
It seemed that the diversity on the stage was reflected in the audience.
Theater has been predominantly white, both on and off stage, but this wasn’t the case for “Hamilton.” And looking around, I became acutely aware of a privilege I have. I’ve never had to fight for representation.
As a white girl going with her white family in orchestra seats for her 16th birthday, viewing the show from a place of white privilege, it’s hard to fully understand how important “Hamilton” has been. I’ve always been able to look into the world and identify with someone— something that a lot of people are left struggling to do.
“Hamilton” took a very whitewashed history that ignores the presence of minorities and placed those very minorities in the roles of the old white men that dominate the discussion in our history books. Besides being wonderfully crafted with beautiful lyrics, amazing sound production and execution, “Hamilton” serves as a game changer for inclusivity.
So as I walked back to the car, I let that sink in. That things are changing for the good.
- Diverse cast
- Spectacular soundtrack
- Phenomenal set and lighting
- Started off a bit weak
Photo by Alexandra Sansone