Last spring I began to hear rumblings about a new Broadway musical called Hamilton. I started reading everything I could find, following the writer Lin-Manuel Miranda on Twitter, and eagerly awaiting the release of the cast recording. I downloaded it within minutes of its release and further fed my obsession with constant listening. Eventually, Claire, Benjamin and Jeff joined in.
I often put it on while making dinner and we all sing along. All the words. Loud. Seriously, we all LOVE it.
So, you can imagine my surprise when Jeff gave me tickets to see the show on Broadway. This is not a great picture and doesn't begin to capture my utter astonishment and excitement!
My mom took the picture. She'd been conspiring a bit with Jeff to plan this surprise.
So, the very next day, we all got up at the crack of dawn to fly to NYC. We stopped for coffee and croissants at the airport.
I could have snapped pictures every moment of our two days in NYC, but I just caught bits and pieces. Here are a few.
The view from the train from the airport into the city.
Classic subway tiles.
Seen in the hotel lobby.
Well, why not?!
Snazzy, hip hotel room that was about a 15 minute walk from the theater. (Also my son's ever-growing legs!)
View from the hotel. I love its grungy, urban vibe.
After settling into the room, we went out to just walk in the city including visiting the theater. Oh, the excitement is building!
All the theater doors are decorated with characters from the show.
Here are the Skyler sisters -- and me and Claire posing as Angelica and Eliza. (Claire said, "We don't want to be Peggy!")
This is Hercules Mulligan and Lafayette next to Alexander and Eliza.
The iconic Hamilton logo.
Aaron Burr... "the villain in your history."
And here's George Washington. And some Starbucks cups.
We picked up a snack of some teeny tiny cupcakes and went back to the hotel for a rest before the show. Plus, it was snowing and super cold.
Here's the long line of super excited people waiting to go into the theater. Seriously, the buzz was powerful!
We stopped at the merchandise kiosk and the bar to make a few purchases before heading to our seats.
How could I resist a Hamiltini?! Plus it comes in a souvenir cup!
I was feeling overwhelmed in this moment, standing in the theater with my very-generous, loving, thoughtful husband. Overwhelmed and excited and happy.
We were all excited and happy! By the way, see the wall behind the two folks behind us? That's the back of the theater. Yes, we were up high! But, NYC theaters are smallish and the view was great. We didn't miss anything and I loved being able to absorb everything about the whole experience. Did I say happy?!
We all know the music and lyrics really well. We've studied, analyzed, compared, and thought about the characters, plot, themes and connections in every line. But, seeing it on stage took it all to another level. There is more life, more detail, more humor and more tragedy in all of the very best ways.
Just one simple shot of the curtain call. I think that's Thomas Jefferson and Maria Reynolds running to their spots.
After the show, we gathered by the stage door with hundreds of other fans so Claire could get autographs from a few of the actors.
Here's Daveed Diggs who plays Lafayette in Act I and Jefferson in Act II.
Claire has a special Rubik's Cube that she saves just for autographs.
This is Austin Smith who is an understudy for the role of Aaron Burr. The performance we saw was only his second time playing the role. He was excellent. We are accustomed to the amazing Leslie Odom on the cast recording, but seeing and hearing a different actor made for lots of interesting discussions after the show.
Here's Christopher Jackson who plays George Washington. Yes, an African American George Washington! As Lin-Manuel Miranda has said, "It's the story of American then, told by America now."
Here's Jonathon Groff who nearly steals the show as King George.
Renee Goldsberry plays Angelica Skyler, Hamilton's sister-in-law.
After the show, we had classic NYC pizza and discussed every detail of the performance.
The next morning, Claire and I ventured out for coffee and pastries while Jeff and Benjamin partook in the hotel breakfast. We found Bibble and Sip.
I had been wanting a beautiful NYC latte. Check!
Claire got a hot chocolate with a giant homemade marshmallow.
Claire's nails match that gals coat. And also the green tea cream puffs shown below.
We had one of these dark chocolate cream puffs because who doesn't like to eat dessert for breakfast?
Time with this special person was another wonderful birthday gift. People often say we look alike and I generally don't see it... but I can a bit here.
I think I've been to NYC about four times, but I've never walked through Central Park. We enjoyed a beautiful stroll on the way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
There were several beautiful stone carvings in one of the pavilion areas. I love the pattern and the shadows here.
A sweet little nest.
We had a great time at the Met. I've got a separate post with photos and thoughts from that stop. (Because this post is already jam packed, right?)
More walking and just enjoying the city.
We ended the whirlwind trip with dinner at a little Italian place.
See Claire's reflection in the mirror behind us? That just cracks me up.
It was an amazing trip. I can't believe how much we did in just two days. (I didn't even share everything here.) I can't believe I was in a theater filled with hundreds of people enjoying such a powerful and inspiring story -- starring the original cast! Actually, I can believe it. And I'm grateful.
While we were in NYC, I was thinking that I've only been to see a show on Broadway twice in my whole life. I saw Sweet Charity when I was 15 when I was in NYC doing some work with the National Episcopal Church with a group of other youth and adults. Then Hamilton. Jeff was with me both times. We've been traveling and exploring and doing fun stuff together for more than thirty years. All of those adventures are better because we've shared them.