Ok, this is probably going to be an unpopular sentiment. So, I’ll just go ahead and get it out of the way. Rip off the band-aid. Here it goes:
“Hamilton” was not the best live musical theater experience I’e ever had.
I said it.
Please don’t get me wrong. “Hamilton” was amazing. Like, really, really amazing. Even my son, who is not normally a musical theater fan, found it enthralling. Myself, Jayme, and the kids were all about the soundtrack both before and after the show.
Every bit of credit and respect goes to Lin Manuel Miranda and crew for creating such a cultural phenomenon. The songs were amazing. The story was gripping. It’s everything you could ask for in a musical.
(Side note: Angelica and her masterpiece “Satisfied” was my favorite part of the entire show!)
In my mind, seeing “Les Miserables” on stage in London in 2003 was and is the hallmark of my theater-going lifetime. Maybe it was because I grew up with “Les Mis”. It was *the* musical that everyone knew and sang. Hell, we even sang a good bit of it in our high school chorus concert(s). Or maybe it was listening to the songs over and over and over again and finally seeing it live and in the flesh in front of me. Valjean with the soaring voice. The powerful ensemble pieces. The heart-wrenching ballads about love and loss.
It was mesmerizing. It also came at a turning point in my life. I was 23, married, had my first job, and really hitting a stride in my new-found adulthood. We were in London, living in Paris, and so many miles from our home in Georgia. We were living our life. There was an independence running throughout the whole experience.
That performance and that experience has stuck with me for these past 15 years, and is the barometer by which everything is judged.
My confession laid bare.