Wednesday, April 25, 2018

How to See #HamiltonSLC

As your resident #Hamilton expert (you heard me, @SpencerJCox #FightMe), I have some helpful tips as you think about or plan to see the touring production of Hamilton: An American Musical at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City.

There are ten things you need to know.

1. Buy Tickets Responsibly

The most reliable way to get tickets is through ArtTix or ArtSaltLake. If you buy tickets second-hand, be smart: do you know the seller? Or is the connection to the seller reliable (friend-in-law)? So what if you trade an envelope of cash for an envelope of tickets in a McDonald’s parking lot? (I did that, and it worked out, so…) There’s no shame in doing it if you are smart about it. And while you’re being smart, also be safe.

Want to take a shot (shot! shot!) at winning tickets? Get ye the Hamilton App and go to the Lottery tab; choose your city of choice, and win a chance to buy up to two tickets for $10 each. Be sure to turn on your notifications for the app because if you win you've got a window of just hours to claim your tickets.

2. It is NOT more expensive than seeing it in NYC

“Those tickets are so expensive! It would be cheaper to fly to New York City and see it on Broadway!”

False.

Last December I physically walked to the ticket booth at the Richard Rodgers Theatre (not from Salt Lake, from the hotel where we stayed in the city) and asked for the price of the least expensive ticket (I was on the hunt to take myself and six other people to see this show), and the answer was $425*. $425 also happens to be the price of the most expensive ticket if you buy directly from the Eccles via ArtTix. Now - unless you can get to NYC for free and stay there for free and eat and do all the other things one does on a trip sans cost, or if you have some special connections resulting in discounts, seeing Hamilton in NYC is NOT less expensive than seeing it here at home.

*I've also seen online tickets as low as $285; but taking into account all else required to get to NY (cost of time included)? You can see it for less locally.

When my then-boyfriend and I snuck into the #Hamilton Mixtape Concert,
1 December, 2016 (Thursday), NYC

3. Yes, the tickets are expensive.

With all due respect: get over it. If you don’t want to pay that much for tickets, don’t. And when someone does, maybe don’t make comments about it. I mean, you could, but...well, it can just be poor form to comment on how much money one spends on a thing, in my opinion.

And, yes, people selling their tickets second-hand are jacking up prices to make a profit. I wish they wouldn’t. You know who else wishes they wouldn’t? Lin-Manuel Miranda. So there’s that.

4. What to wear

You’re going to the theater. It’s a very nice theater. It’s a special event. To use the local vernacular: dress in Church Clothes, to be safe...but I’d say a range from business casual to formal would suit the occasion. I like dressing up. Be respectful of who you are and what you’re doing. Srsly, look nice and feel comfortable.

When my then-boyfriend and I went to see #Hamilton,
1 December, 2016 (Thursday), NYC
(he had purchased the tickets 25 January, 2016 [Monday],
three days after our first date) 

5. It’s cold in there

It’s chilly in the house of the Eccles Theatre. I wore a short-sleeved dress, and brought a wrap, thank goodness. I needed it. NOTE: if, when you put on or take off your wrap or coat or whathaveyou, you do so during the performance, please be mindful of those around you and how this action may block the view of those around you (this happened to me last week, and someone's coat blocked me from seeing a specific formation of choreography I was looking forward to seeing).

6. What to bring

You don’t want to bring a lot, because your personal space is limited in a theatre, and you want to be comfortable. But you could bring cash for a snack and a drink. I think you should. Speaking of cash, there is Official Hamilton merchandise for sale in the lobby. It’s the same stuff they sell in NY (though not as wide a selection), for the same prices. That grey hoodie? It’s so soft. Also, consider bringing cash to donate to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a non-profit which helps support those living with HIV and AIDS, including locally.

When my husband and I saw #HamiltonSLC, 21 April, 2018 (Saturday)

7. DO NOT SING ALONG

Listen. I know you know all the words. I’m sure you can do Guns And Ships faster than Daveed himself, wtvr. I know your mom says you sing Burn better than the record (because your mom calls it a record). But everyone around you came to listen to NOT YOU perform. And they paid a lot of money for it. Respect yourself, the other audience members and the performers.

8. Turn off your damn phones.

Lady in front of me WAS TEXTING. WAS. TEXTING. DURING. HAMILTON. Guh. Just post, "Piss off, I'm watching this show now," on facebook, and everyone will know to leave you alone for three hours.

9. Talk with your kids

Bringing kids? Cool. Me too. And I have been talking with them since the minute I surprised them with tickets about theatre-appropriate behavior (which they know, but about which I remind them often, and continue to), ESPECIALLY #7 above. And talk with them about the storyline so there’s not a lot of, “What happened?” during the show.

When we surprised #TheWad (my kids) with tickets, 14 April, 2018 (Saturday)
(We'll see the show together very soon,
which will be an actual wish coming true)

Not sure if you should bring your kids? Let me say this: there is swearing (f-word, y’all) and (implied/discussed) sexual content. As for me and my house? This musical was the main, if not only, thing my 5 kids and I could all talk about together as we all worked to heal from a divorce, and so it has a special place in all our hearts as it brought us together in a critical way, listening to and discussing it for HOURS, swears and all. My youngest is 10 now; I’m bringing her, and she’s into it. Any younger than that? And not into it? I wouldn’t. (I mean...I'd want to enjoy, too, not be worried about keeping an eye out for behavior.) Also keep in mind: there are powerful moments of complete silence during the performance, so if you’ve got a kiddo prone to talking, even whispering, it could be a major distraction, especially during those parts.

...Here's how that surprise went...

...in a few days I'll share my favorite video from this surprise, which I can't watch without crying

10. Other details

Get to the theatre early. Give yourself time to park and walk to the venue, or take Trax (Blue or Green lines, Gallivan Plaza or City Center stations). Be there in time to get through security (standard for this show), take some pictures, look at merch, get a snack, use the facilities, and find your seat. And enjoy. Srsly. And let me know what you thought. I can, would, will happily, and have talk(ed) about this show for hours.

Another of #HamiltonSLC, 21 April, 2018 (Saturday)

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