Yes, I am now part of a group that can proudly declare “oh I’ve seen Hamilton!”
The story of my Hamilton exposure: I had heard about it through podcasts (Dan Savage mentioned it, The Read mentioned it) but never bothered to listen to the album. I finally heard the album when I joined Frances and Rex on a drive down to socal, and was more or less forced to listen to it when Rex played the soundtrack the entire drive down. He had already become a Hamilton obsessive, so he was able to interject explanatory remarks between the songs, which I really think improved my listening experience. Upon arriving in Arcadia though, my life was unchanged. But two days later, Rex again played the soundtrack the entire drive up, only THIS TIME, both Rex AND Frances were singing along to the soundtrack.
The following day at work I ended up listening to the album at work from start to finish … and became OBSESSED. During the ride, Rex, who preferred the rap songs, kept skipping the female-centered songs and these ended up being my favorite ones. Also, he preferred Act One, and there were quite a few songs I loved in Act Two, so it was like I was discovering the album anew.
My thoughts on the show: I really dislike the live verson of Burn and wish they would perform it the way that it’s done on the album. By the time we caught this performance, the only original cast member was King George (Brian d’Arcy James) though it was Jonathan Groff on the album. I think the original cast member I would have most wanted to see would’ve been Leslie Odom Jr. Followed by Renee Elis Goldsbury and Philippa Soo. My favorite album songs have been: Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story, Satisfied, and Burn (there is an obvious link there). The songs that were amazing to see live were Satisfied, Your Obedient Servant and The Room Where It’s Happening. Even though I know the album track list by heart, the ending still seemed very abrupt, leaving me with a “oh no, that’s it?!” feeling. The theater was larger than I expected, perhaps because everyone comments on the intimateness of the Richard Rodgers theater, so I guess I envisioned a 100 person space.
I used the restroom before the show started and the line monitor kept saying to everyone who balked at the length of the line “it’s MUCH WORSE at intermission.” I thought I could stay in my seat through the end of the show, but intermission came around and I jumped out of my seat because I had to use the bathroom again. This is the FASTEST bathroom line I have ever been in, which is necessary as the line snaked all the way down from the stairs, back into the theater seats and back out into the lobby. We had hesitated maybe one minute before heading to the line, and we were probably at the first third of the line. We managed to get back with plenty of time, but when they start the second half, there is very little notification. It just GOES.
Foodwise for the trip, my favorite restaurant was Rosso Pomodoro, an Italian restaurant that started as an Eataly outpost. I got a ragu bolognese and our table shared a chocolate lava cake and panna cotta which were just ok. I wish I could get pasta as perfectly cooked as it was here but I haven’t found it in the Bay Area. Another fun place we went to was Urban Square Vanderbilt, essentially a big food hall adjacent to Grand Central Station. Though I made a poor choice in my food purchase with the Chinese food stall Bing, it was fun just to walk around. I also partook in Dough and had the toasted coconut (fave), hibiscus (my second time getting this) and mocha almond crunch donuts (I mayyyy have gotten this before too, but I get it confused with the cafe au lait). I have eaten a LOT of doughnuts in my life, but Dough is honestly my favorite donut store ever.
We stayed in The Muse, a Kimpton hotel located just two blocks from the RIchard Rodgers theater and a block from Times Square. We were always in the hotel by 11pm, so I am slightly bummed that we didn’t make use of the perfect summer night weather and venture out for a walk. However, I am also the first person to look away when someone goes “does anyone want to stay out? go for a drink?” so it’s not like I’m the party pusher in a group. I just want to walk around a city at night!!! Not spend money! Also, I’m fascinated with watching the ads in Times Square, which I can understand does not appeal to everyone, especially people who lived/worked in NYC for years. So no one took me up on my “it’s 12am, anyone want to go out to Times Square?!”
Additionally, this trip involved staying at Robyn’s mom’s place in Warwick. We ended up going to Storm King, an outdoor sculpture garden, which was featured in the second season of Master of None!!! ALSO, there is a scene in a Thai restaurant called Thai Villa which we had ALSO gone to! Unintentional Master of None tour! Sidenote: Thai Villa was delicious though the portions were not as fantastically huge as you’d find at cheaper restaurants.
The most delightful thing I ate though, which was right before we got into the theater for Hamilton, was a black sesame cream puff!!!!!!! They also have a matcha cream puff and an earl grey cream puff. Sitting here, I am now bummed I didn’t find a way to bring back four dozen with me.
I honestly don’t understand how I’m supposed to post portrait photos onto wordpress. How can it be that a blogsite doesn’t appropriately size portrait photos?! I’ve essentially resigned myself to just posting landscape photos from here on out, but the cream puff one is necessary.