My first introduction to Hamilton was two years ago at the Tony’s. Around the same time, it took my daughter’s middle school by storm. She memorised every word and introduced Hamilton to her younger sisters, who were soon gripped by Hamilton fever.
The whole family took on the challenge to learn the songs and dress up for local Hamiltunes events and my two youngest daughters started a Hamilton club at school.
The long wait to finally get to see Hamilton was over this weekend, when we visited the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. Our only sure-fire way to guarantee tickets when Hamilton arrived in Seattle was to buy a seasons pass and we haven’t regretted it. Every show we have seen this year has been fantastic but Hamilton was the prize ticket.
With two years of hype and excitement, there was a danger that
- The kids would be sick of Hamilton by the time it arrived.
- It wouldn’t live up to our expectations.
The show opened with a very different type of Burr to the Odin Jnr we were used to. The first five minutes were spent getting used to the new voices and intonations but by the end of the opening we had warmed to the new cast and we were carried away by the spectacular show.
It is solid testimony to the creators of Hamilton, that a show touching the hearts of the nation through the soundtrack alone, is such a visual delight. The choreography, lighting and set are breathtaking but even more spectacular is the way in which all these elements work together to create the story. If you feel you’ve heard the soundtrack, so don’t need to see the show, think again. Seeing the show provides not only a deeper understanding of the plot and characters but also an utter visual delight, incomparable to anything I’ve ever seen on the stage. Lin-Manuel Miranda has certainly set a high bar for all future musical theatre productions. It feels truly groundbreaking, similar to seeing Les Miserables for the first time in the early 90’s.
Shoba Narayan as Eliza and Ta’rea Campbell as Angelica will blow you away with their incredible singing voices and emotive presence. Even knowing the story so well, it is difficult to hold back the tears during the second act. The party behind me (who I suspect didn’t know the story as well) sniffed their way through the performance from ‘Burn’ to the end of Act 2. The perfection of the final lighting cue, shows focused attention to detail and how carefully thought out every moment of Hamilton is.
Is Hamilton suitable for children?
My youngest children are 7 and 9 and big Hamilton fans. Even if children are Hamilton fans, there are a few things to be aware of.
- Act 1 is long – around 30 minutes before the interval my 7 yr old told me she was tired and started to get a bit fidgety. If your children don’t know the story or the sequence of songs and are not good at sitting for prolonged periods, I would suggest waiting until they are older.
- Make sure you get a booster cushion (we took an extra with us just in case). The theatre will be full and most likely there will be an adult sat in front of them.
Hamilton was a wonderful experience for our family. The children are regular theatre goers and know the show well. If your children are not used to the theatre, children under the age of 8 may not get the full benefit of the experience. Also being aware that this is a once in a lifetime experience for many adults, may help you decide if your child will be a distraction or not.
The final verdict
Smiles all around. Hamilton is the hottest ticket in town with good reason. If you are lucky enough to have the chance to see Hamilton, wherever you are, don’t hesitate – you won’t be disappointed.