Wait for it: Counting down the hours to seeing Hamilton

My name is Nina and I love all things Hamilton, an American Musical. I have alienated my children and even some co-workers by playing the cast album ad nauseam. I am proud to have developed a condition called “Hamilaria”, a condition defined as “an urge to sing lyrics from the hit musical when prompted by cue lines from every day conversation.”

With this declaration out of the way, it will come as no surprise that Hubs and I went to see the musical in Chicago this week. I remained as calm and grounded as I could the days leading up to “Showtime!” but I admit, it wasn’t easy.private-bank-theatre-hamilton2

All kidding aside (for now,) my goal was to enjoy the day and be fully present for the show itself.

7:02 am   Alarm goes off and Hubs rolls over and says “12 Hours till we’re in The Room Where it Happens!” I may have squealed and hopped out of bed.

8:11 am   Son says goodbye for the day and tells me to have a great time tonight. Swoon.

9:00 am    Getting ready for work and having a hard time not listening to the cast album. I vowed to “Take a Break” so I would listen to the Chicago production with fresh ears.

9:47 am   Settled at desk, logging in and starting my day. I’m happy, calm and announce to my co-worker “Guess who’s going to Hamilton toniiiiiiight?” She looks at me with a polite smile and says “Oh good.” And then mutters “Maybe that will shut her up….” She is joking and truly loves me, despite my illness.

3:30 pm   Is it too soon to start getting ready? Probably. Hubs calls with a shout out “YO NEEN, just a few hours!”

4:00 pm   Start getting ready. Figure out what to wear that is fashionable, very warm and Hamilton appropriate. Should I wear a corset?

4:40 pm   Find warmest coat and think of the Revolutionary War tales of the freezing cold…

4:46 pm   Ask teenage daughter if we should leave for the train yet. I can’t be late. Daughter calmly says “Mom, the station is four minutes away. The train leaves at 5:28, I think we’re good.”

5:12 pm   Daughter drives me to train and tells me to stay warm and have a good time. Her car heater isn’t working properly and her oil light is flashing. I care not. I’m going to see Hamilton.

5:16 pm   Get out of  semi-warm car to get into not so warm train station as I’m too anxious to sit and wait with daughter while she listens to Guns and Roses. It’s throwing me off my game.

5:29 pm   On the train. The train car smells. The conductor comes by and when he asks “Where to?” I say ‘Hamilton’ instead of ‘Ogilve.’ Cue strange look and eye roll from the bearded hipster sitting across from me.

6:03 pm   I realize in all the excitement I’m hungry. I’m getting a little train sick. The lady next to me smells and I’m trying to mouth breathe. I need gum. I need sugar. Should I break down and listen to the cast album? I text Hubs to meet me at the theatre with candy.

7:06 pm   Arrive at the Private Bank Theatre. Attempt to take the obligatory selfie in front of the marquee but it’s too cold and there are too many people and I’m too excited. Selfie negated.

7:16 pm   Relief. In Room Where it’s Happening. Eating my candy, feeling less queasy and more excited.

7:31 pm   Why haven’t the lights gone down yet?

7:31 pm   Oh, they’re shutting the doors.

7:33 pm   The man across the aisle took off his shoes?!? What? Start the show, please!

7:34 pm   Lights dimmed, King George is speaking. It’s SHOWTIME.

8:39 pm   I reluctantly check my phone because I’m in a blissful Hamilton trance and because you don’t check your phone during Hamilton. But, it buzzed three times. EVERYONE I know knows I’m at Hamilton so I assume there is an emergency. I secretly check the phone and see teenage daughter has texted three times.

As George Washington sings the line “I know that greatness lies in you, but remember from here on in, history has it’s eyes on you,” I read the three texts that say:

LOOK AT THIS EMAIL MA.

We are pleased to tell you, you are accepted at XX University….

MA!!!

I freeze. I turn to Hubs and whisper/cry “Girl got into XX University!” I show him text. Eyes water. We squeeze hands. We watch Hamilton. Do I stay in my seat? Do I text her back? There are four more songs in Act One: Yorktown, What Comes Next, Dear Theodosia and Non-Stop.

I enjoy the moment. Sort of. Yorktown is a bit of a blur. I cry during Dear Theodosia. The lyrics “If we lay a strong enough foundation, we’ll pass it on to you, we’ll give the world to you, and you’ll blow us all away…..” has even more meaning now.

My girl is going to the college of her choice.

Can this night get any better?

Yes, it does. I get my wits about me and am riveted by the amazing cast performance in Non-Stop which is the end of Act One. Heavy sigh of joy.

unknown8:50 Intermission. We call daughter and then video ourselves congratulating her as she is now out to dinner with friends. We are speechless and helpless and so happy. We revel in the good news, we discuss the great performance we are watching.

9:02  Called back in for Act Two

10:24  We are done. We are in awe. We are so grateful. We can’t stop talking about the genius work of art that is Hamilton. It exceeds our expectations.

We drive home giddy and all I can think is “Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.”

 

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