Hamilton

Also:

Why must Jimmy Fallon ruin everything?!

I'm not sure I'm ready to hear the mixtape. I understand the enthusiasm and I'm glad this is happening, but I'm too much a fangirl of the OBC recording still. I'm sure it's great and I'll be ready for it someday. It may be that I'm jealous that it's not me. But, I'm willing to wait for it.

So, I'm still devastated from the election results, but this also happened yesterday:
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My sister won the lottery. It was amazing.

The sun comes up and the world still spins! Congrats on the lotto!

The world turned upside down

I agree with pretty much everything written here so far. I have spread the infection to my 14 year old son, who now has a high percentage of the songs memorized and seems to be playing it on a loop. We watched the PBS documentary together two nights ago and loved it. We just scored tickets in Chicago for late March. I am not sure if they just opened up some additional dates or what, but I am super excited. It is being kept secret until Christmas.

My partner finally relented a couple weeks ago and listened on his way to come visit me. Now he's listened through a few more times and last night he played Dear Theodosia for me on ukulele. It makes an excellent lullaby. He's also demonstrated how Farmer Refuted would be better if it were a bass singing. Also King George should be a bass. (Not that he's biased or anything. )

bhchrist, great score on the tickets. I've been eyeing April or May to celebrate graduation...

ActualDragon wrote:

Now he's listened through a few more times and last night he played Dear Theodosia for me on ukulele.

Adorable!

Not a Hamilton clip, but Lin is so funny in this, I wanted to share:

I infected my four year old daughter and the soundtrack became our bath time soundtrack. She subsequently infected my wife. Now I cannot even get a Leonard Cohen song on the house playlist...including to honor his passing this week. RIP Leonard.

Cross post from the silly purchase thread because it's not so silly.

Used some birthday money from inlaws to gift myself this:

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Nice!

Definitely not a silly purchase. The marginalia are especially entertaining. Check out "comma sexting" in Take a Break for illustration. It's just full of totally creative gems. I love the book.

Nope, not at all. In fact, it is sitting in my Amazon Cart right now with the 2017 wall calendar as a Christmas gift for my son. Sure...it is for my son. Honest. This, however, is for dad. If the boy gripes about it, I guess I can order a second. It hits most all the geek happy places in me.

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Today's Audible daily deal is Hamilton: The Revolution Audiobook. LMM is listed as one of the narrators, but everyone basically just recommends the printed book (LMM only reads footnotes to lyrics from what I've read). Judging by the sample, the rest of the narration is not that engaging.

The Hamilton Mixtape is officially out. It's available on Spotify and I'm assuming all of the other streaming services.

PaladinTom wrote:

The Hamilton Mixtape is officially out. It's available on Spotify and I'm assuming all of the other streaming services.

So far my favorites are: My Shot, Wrote My Way Out, Queen Latifah's verse on Satisfied, Immigrants, Say Yes to This and Congratulations.

Listened to it a few time today and it's... alright. It's very uneven to me.

For the covers, it really highlights just how damned talented Renee Elise Goldsberry, Philipa Soo, and the rest of the cast are. They can easily hold their own against singers like Sia, Kelly Clarkson, and Alicia Keys. I prefer the originals.

I love the 'Demo' and other tracks that didn't make it into the show. They should've had Goldsberry sing "Congratulations!" I would pay money to buy that as a single. I also heard a story that Lin-Manul Miranda was at a party with Paul Giamatti and he sat him in a chair and rapped "An Open Letter" at him.

Of the remixes, I'm loving "Wrote My Out" and "Immigrants."

The less said about Jimmy Fallon the better.

While I'd love to hear Renee's Congratulations, I thought Dessa did a great job on it. Otherwise, I'm pretty much in agreement.

Lin-Manuel Miranda was on WTF with Marc Maron several weeks ago. It is especially interesting, because they talk a bit about "musical politics". I am not a big musical buff, so I hadn't known that much about "In the Heights" before. Hearing Lin-Manuel talk about why that musical is not that much in the limelight as Hamilton, although it strikes similar cords, makes you see the musical industry from a different perspective.

Better than I thought it would be.

I have to say, I love it!

I didn't expect it to be the case after my first listen, but I've been replaying the mixtape this month almost as obsessively as I did the cast recording earlier in the year.

As you guys say, initially I was a bit bumped by some of the direct covers, annoyed when I didn't feel like the new artist's performance held up to the original. Most notably, I'm sorry Usher, but your vocal runs are not an improvement on Leslie Odom Jr's absolutely perfect phrasing and dripping with pure, raw emotion delivery. But, the more I listen, the more my opinion changes and I come to appreciate even the direct covers that I originally was a bit disappointed by. The reinterpretations may not always be to my preference, but they are (mostly) so well in line with the communal spirit of how musical story telling works, and particularly appropriate within the traditions of both musical theater and hip hop cultures. That is, the more I listen to the covers with an open mind, the more I'm finding new things in the songs I thought had already been delivered to perfection, because another person who loved the song is giving me their feeling of it.

(Also, some of the covers were goddamn amazing from the word go -- Regina Spektor and Ben Folds, and Sia and Queen Latifah in particular didn't need any time to grow on me at all.)

And, of course, the remixes and "inspired by" songs continue to be just amazing. For example, I know it's silly given the amazing amount of talent surrounding him on the track, but Lin-Manual Miranda's verses on Wrote My Way Out give me shivers every f*cking time. Or, maybe it's not silly, given that he created the whole thing, but there's something undeniable about him delivering just his own story, not filtered through the experiences of a character in any way. And Immigrants. God damn, Immigrants. I say goddamnit!

Finally, the demos and outtakes -- man, I wish the original show could have been longer, you know? Of course, I get why a lot of it had to be reworked or cut, and I get how you'd probably break the impact and pacing of the show if you tried to squeeze some of it back in -- like, Congratulations is amazing, but despite it being a loss for us to not get that extra bit of Angelica, the story needed to move along the way it does at that point.

But. (Unless?)

I totally wouldn't be upset at all if the touring company put the full John Adams diss track back into The Adams Administration when I see it during the first week in San Francisco next March (#casualbrag), you know?

My cellphone has this video editor that automatically produces a photo compilation from e.g. Sunday afternoon (if I was making a lot of photos) and retrospects for every month etc. On New Years Day it popped up its 2016 retrospect. Cover photo? Yes, Hamilton cover. How appropriate, given that I've been listening to it all year since (I think) February.

Also, this year's plan: learn to play piano. To eventually play Hamilton, of course. It's never too late to learn something like that. I want to be able to play at least "Alexander Hamilton" before I turn 40 in September.

Well, servers for London tickets are getting hammered.

My friend put us on some kind of list for tickets, and we managed to secure some today... for 28 April 2018.

That was about an hour ago, so I suspect that 'Hamilton' is now booked until next November already! This has always been the case with big shows. I seem to remember that Cats was booked forever in the 80s.

I'm on the road to Chicago to see Hamilton tomorrow night. Very excited. Going to the Art Institute in the morning. We are staying in the hotel with the theater so no worries about driving around or cabs.

They've started announcing the travelling productions. Word is, the local group that hosts productions will be hosting Hamilton in the 2018-2019 season.

They were sure to point out that it will be part of the season ticket package that year, and that if you're a season ticket holder for the upcoming 2017-2018 season, you'll be first in line for 2018 season tickets.

My parents were thinking of dropping their season ticket package after they got a crop of shows they were less interested in this year, but hearing that they've decided to stick with it in the hopes of getting Hamilton tickets (despite my father being a Jefferson fanboy). I'm just hoping they can grab an extra ticket for me! I doubt I'll have a prayer at grabbing them otherwise.

This obviously doesn't apply to the concurrent Chicago run, but I expect folks will be very pleased with the touring show. We saw the show last week in San Francisco, and the both the cast and the production were quite good. In fact, as far as I could tell, every thing about the production (i.e., the set, the lighting, the sound design, etc) was essentially identical to what I've seen of the Broadway show.

Obviously the cast will change a bit as the tour moves through stops, but the group of folks they have in SF are quite good, and in a few cases spectacular.

- Michael Luwoye might not quite have Lin-Manuel Miranda's mercurial charm, but he's a better vocalist, and at least at times delivers a better performance in other ways too. I counted at least a small handful of times where he's tweaked the phrasing or delivery of a word or a whole line in ways that improved the flow of the language, the clarity of the storytelling, and/or the emotional content of a song. Also, there are a number of moments where Hamilton mocks Burr, Jefferson, and Madison that Luwoye really kills with excellent physical comedy paired with his stellar vocal performance.

- Joshua Henry is almost creepy in his ability to both mimic and inhabit Leslie Odom Jr.'s Aaron Burr. Not just vocally, either — there was a very specific, intentional crispness to every movement Odom made while playing that part, and Henry delivers every single bit.

- Emmy Raver-Lampman and Solea Pfeiffer similarly deliver exactly the performances you expect for Angelica and Eliza. Actually, with one small twist: Raver-Lampman has a sweet half shaved hairdo and a bit of a wry smile that bring a delightful extra bit of casual irreverence to Angelica that I very much enjoyed.

- Jordan Donica was a bit more of a mixed bag, but still good. He struggled a bit as Lafayette, particularly on Guns and Ships, but given that they were only a week into the run I'm not going to hold that against him too hard. I can't even fathom how Daveed Diggs managed that song a year into his run, so anyone else stumbling when just starting out seems reasonable. And, he delivers so, so well as Jefferson in the second act that all was more than forgiven in my book by the end of the night.

- Isaiah Johnson's slightly more casual interpretation of Washington was also quite fun, particularly when he's serving as the MC for the rap battle cabinet meetings. I love Christopher's Jackson's stately, unimpeachable demeanor, but Johnson really brought some of those more fun moments alive in a special way.

- Rory O'Malley's King George is King George, and there's nothing one could possibly want to change about it.

- I don't have their names, but most of the other performers were quite good as well. The guy they have playing John Laurens and Phillip has a beautiful voice. We had an understudy for Hercules Mulligan/Madison, and while he didn't quite have the physical presence to dominate the first act, his Madison was really, really good. And the rest of the ensemble was full of great casting choices too.

Anyway, if you've got tickets for the SF or LA runs at the very least, you're in for a great show.