After more than a year in quarantine, Broadway is back… In Hollywood! This joyous occasion calls for a trip to the Pantages theatre to watch the Broadway hit Hamilton! I'd already watched the movie version on Disney Plus, so I thought I knew what I was in for. But I didn’t. Watching Hamilton in the theatre is so much different from watching it at home, only seeing what the camera shows you.
When you arrive at the theatre, you have to have proof of vaccination - or for a child under 12, a negative COVID test under 72 hours ago. Masks are required at all times. Then you must present your ticket. The line moved pretty fast, as their way of checking people in was swift and efficient. Then when you enter the theatre… a grand palace awaits you! An art deco paradise with golden statues, a red carpet, chandeliers; it’s breathtaking! And of course, there are booths for your overpriced snacks and merch. Then you go through the doors, get handed a playbill, find a seat in the row of soft red chairs, and see the famous Hamilton stage…
It opens with King George III introducing the show and reminding the audience that photos and videos aren’t allowed (which I ignored for the sake of this article… don't tell anyone!) Then, the show begins with Aaron Burr’s famous insults towards Hamilton.
Something I noticed about the show was that during every scene you could see the whole setting. When I first saw Hamilton on Disney Plus, I wasn’t able to see the whole setting. For example, during “Aaron Burr, Sir,” when John Laurens, Lafayette, and Hercules Mulligan are rapping while drinking, there is actually a makeshift bar with a lady behind drying cups! I never noticed that before and thought it was very cool. Another thing I noticed, which I had never thought about before, was squeaky shoes! During “Helpless,” while the ensemble were dancing, their shoes were squeaking and sliding and making a lot of noise. Of course, this is all natural. Except when you watch the movie version, they edit it out to make it perfect. Not to mention, the choreography is amazing! Especially during the rewind part in “Satisfied,” they actually did the dance in reverse! Overall, the first act was amazing!
Then the second act. We open with “What Did I Miss?” with the charismatic and hilarious Thomas Jefferson, and his partner in crime, James Madison. Throughout the second performance, I had chills! The singing was amazing and those high notes hit you in just the right places. Also, I was… um, pretty cold. The second act was so good, and I was having such a great time, it went by so fast! Before I knew it, Eliza had done her famous gasp at the end of the show, a ton of clapping following! Then, the cast lined up, and all bowed together.
And Peggy! We can’t forget Peggy of course! The actor portraying her was hilarious! During Eliza’s wedding, she was weeping the whole time, making everyone laugh. Also, the facial expressions she made, like when she and her sisters snuck out to go downtown and she looked extremely annoyed, and her dance moves were both amazing. I just wish they had shown what happened to her, as she was never shown again during the play.
I interviewed an audience member, Rebecca, about her experience at the musical. She said, “I thought it was the best show I’ve ever seen. I really loved the singing and the choreography was amazing, especially when they did cool moves like when they pulled the tablecloth when Aaron Burr was on the table, or when Lafayette jumped off the table and was still singing. It was just perfect and I definitely recommend it.”
Overall, I had an amazing time. I strongly recommend you try to see this masterpiece of a show in person, however if you can’t, just watch it on Disney+! While I was pretty tired at the end, since it finished late, my time at the Pantages theatre to see Hamilton was memorable, and I’m very glad I was able to go.