Seeing ‘Hamilton’ Was a Historic Moment for Shaylee and Me
My 11-year-old daughter Shaylee has been OBSESSED with the Broadway hit "Hamilton" for more than three years now -- ever since she discovered a video from the show on YouTube. The song was "Dear Theodosia," sung by the characters Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. She was hooked.
I didn't even know about her obsession until one day while we we watching TV and Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer of "Hamilton," was being interviewed. Shaylee piped up, "I want to go to New York to see 'Hamilton.'" I asked how she even knew about "Hamilton." That's when she informed me about watching the videos on YouTube. She then proceeded to tell me all this history about George Washington, Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton and our then-upstart country's escape from the grip of England. I kinda sat there in shock at all the history she had learned from one Broadway play.
I told her that tickets to see Hamilton in New York where beyond expensive and that's if you could find tickets to purchase in the first place. She responded with, "I know, I would like to see it one day."
Fast forward a year when I discovered that the Broadway show would soon become a touring show. I had my fingers crossed that Seattle was one of the stops. Annnnd ... jackpot! Seattle was on the list!
The next thing was making sure we got a tickets. I kept the fact that the show was coming a closely guarded secret in case we couldn't snag tickets. I was worried the touring show would sell out like the New York show and be crazy expensive.
I signed up for the Paramount's newsletter, liked everything possible that could give me the edge on when tickets went on sale. I even tried using my radio connections to get an edge, but to no avail.
I received the Paramount's notice of tickets going on sale and sent my husband the info with strict instructions to buy the tickets as soon as they went on sale! DO NOT WAIT!
He snagged us two tickets at a very hefty price, but they would be her Christmas gift. So then I had to keep it quiet another couple of months!
We wrapped her tickets up in several boxes to throw her off the scent of what her Christmas gift could be, which succeeded. She had no clue what was in all the individually wrapped boxes. When she unwrapped the final box, she stared at the tickets in her hands in disbelief. She asked almost in tears, "Are these tickets to see 'Hamilton?'" We told her yes, that the show would be at the Paramount in Seattle in February through part of March.
Fast forward a couple months to March. The day finally arrived for Shaylee to see "Hamilton." A dream come true! She wore her Hamilton T-shirt along with her coat from her Halloween costume when she dressed as Alexander Hamilton.
When the show finally started I looked over at her as the first lines from the song started to fill the air, and I could her eyes filling with tears. Happy tears. Tears of joy beyond her wildest dreams.
It was beyond amazing! My favorite character is King George, he's a little crazy and mad. The actor who played him did an exceptional job with the crazy eyes, facial expressions and mannerisms. I was singing along to his songs, but not out loud.
Shaylee has played the "Hamilton" soundtrack over and over and over and over and over so many times that even I know a lot of the words to the songs. She knows the entire show by heart -- so much so that she caught it when one of the actors messed up and forgot a line. Then again, when he called one of the characters by the wrong name.
Spoiler alert* -
Even though we both know how "Hamilton's" story ends (like the Titanic, you know the ship is going down), Shaylee cried and I cried. I cried when Hamilton's son Phillip died and again when Hamilton died, which is the next to last song in the show.
I love that "Hamilton" sparked a love of history in my daughter. So much so that she watches documentaries and reads as much as possible about her favorite forefathers.
That alone makes the price of the tickets a bargain.