I’ve entered the online “Hamilton” lottery every day since it’s inception over two months ago. I’ve submitted two entries each day (one for myself and one on behalf of my husband), even on days I’ve had no babysitter. I don’t think mathematically I’m increasing my odds, but maybe I’ll be rewarded by the theater gods for my diligence and genuine adoration.
Today “Hamilton” received a history-making 16 Tony nominations. Gee, thanks, Academy. This should make obtaining tickets WAY EASIER. Can’t we adjust the game a bit? Isn’t there a way for those too broke to pay the $700/ per scalped ticket (even more now, I’m sure) and for those who aren’t the 21 lucky winners of the lottery. I have tweeted to Lin-Manuel Miranda suggesting an essay contest (this doesn’t count), but he has Barack O on his speed dial, so tweets from @HeartsEverywher are dust. Perhaps I should create a diorama? I am a button artist; perhaps the Hamilton star logo of buttons and bling and submit it as a humble offering to the “Hamilton” gods? How much ticket bribery is currently transpiring? Can I send in the clown who entertains sick kids to rap for the Hamilton crew during lunch break?
“Hamilton” beat out the previous big Broadway Tony winner, “The Producers,” which had 12 wins and 15 nominations. Heck, Lin-Manuel Miranda already won the much deserved Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy Award. But wait, that’s not all, he also got the little Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, the George Washington Book Prize, and he also is one of the 2015 MacArthur Fellows.
If we’re looking for a new President, America, I think we found him and guess what? He’s on the side of the immigrants (just like yours truly), who essentially can retell the story of American history in a way that teachers in America must be in awe about.
A story of immigrants, from creators who are the children of immigrants, “Hamilton” has contributed to the national conversation about immigration. A line from the show – “Immigrants/We get the job done” – gets such sustained applause that the pause that follows has been lengthened to allow time for the ovation to end.
Teaching through song is how I taught both of my children, not just the alphabet, but how to spell their names, the days of the weeks, the months of the years, how many days in September. I use songs to help them learn everything, and in this method, “Hamilton” should be a beacon on which all future musicals hold their light. At the very least, teachers should gain inspiration and explore untraditional methods to teach, empower, and inspire their kids. Lin-Manuel Miranda is not merely a genius ,and poignantly, an American revolutionary, he has reconfigured human brains and set a precedent for how information can be communicated.
I first encountered Miranda’s monstrous talents when I saw the brilliant, memorable “In the Heights” in PREVIEWS off-Broadway. I’ve had a lifelong love affair with the theater and even worked in the industry for a few years. Throughout my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend hundreds of Broadway shows, and while I may not be a trained critic, I’ve rarely been wrong about “calling it.”
As I sat in the third to last row of “In the Heights” in 2007, I remember thinking I was witnessing a theatrical transformation. Next to “Rent,” my almost all-time favorite, this show would live in a top-five slot in my mind eternally. The show made me want to sing, dance and invite the characters on stage to my Thanksgiving dinner. I wasn’t from the Dominican Republic or from Washington Heights, but I connected to being an immigrant living in New York City, being alive and living and loving out loud. The story touched everyone, with its addictive rhythm, it’s powerful choreography, and the heart of humanity, which makes the story memorable, relatable, and penetrate to a special sector of your soul where it is locked forever. This goes beyond Tonys and Pulitzers; it is like a doctor working medical magic. It is artistic history and we are active spectators, celebrators, and humans who can be affected by theater and carrying it with us in perpetuity
First, I have to win that Goddamn Lottery! Lin-Manuel Miranda, you must be busy and all, but please, lets come up with a tertiary method of ticket obtainment…if not an essay contest, art contest, a beat-boxing pun fest?
NOTE: Here are the only two pictures we found from “In the Heights” from 2007 when it was Off-Broadway. Ironically we moved so I have a view of this exact bridge from my window.