Last night, I finally got to see Hamilton.
I remember the day I learned the show was coming to Charlotte. I immediately contacted my husband and told him we needed season tickets to the Broadway shows, just so we could get tickets to this show. That was 3 years ago. We bought 6 seats for 2 seasons, just so we would have the tickets last night.
While we were driving uptown, my daughter Taylor called. “Would you, dad and the brothers like to go backstage after the show?” Of course we wanted to go backstage. Several of the cast members have been taking a fitness class she teaches, and one of her new friends offered to show us all around. Could this get any better?
The show was amazing. I have studied the lyrics, the books, and watched every video on Youtube, but finally seeing it in person was worth the wait.
After the show, the 6 of us walked to the stage door access behind the theater building. There were security guards and a dog guarding the exit. After a few minutes, Kristen Hoagland came out of the door and took us past the barricades and the guards, into the theater’s backstage area. She showed us where the actors changed wigs, where each actor kept their props and costume change items. She showed us all of the costumes, hanging to allow the accumulated sweat to dry before the next performance. Each actor has their own set of cubbies and drawers to keep their shoes, hats, and other costume items neatly stored.
The stage itself has a turntable, with an outer ring that sometimes turned with the center, and sometimes turned opposite the center. The turntables allowed the illusion of walking, or distance on the stage, and allowed the actors to change position on the stage without actually moving themselves. It gave a 360º feel for the audience at times as the stage itself turned so the audience could see all angles. Just standing on the stage was surreal.
The different furniture props were suspended above the heads just off stage, so the pieces could be lowered when needed, but out of the way other times. There were cubbies filled with different papers and items the actors used throughout the show. It was all extremely neat, with everything immediately accessible as needed.
Kristen was such a sweet host. She told us a little about her time on the tour, and answered all of our questions. She took our picture on the stage. I imagine she was tired after such a long performance, but she didn’t show it. We got to say hello to other cast members as they walked by, each going to their own home-away-from-home here in the city.
Thank you, Hamilton cast and crew, for such a great night with my family. That was one to remember for a long time.