We exited the cab into a throng of theater goers. Some were coming, others were going, but they clogged the street from sidewalk to sidewalk. Cabs and other vehicles weaved in and out to jockey for position, each trying to drop their paying customer at the door. Ours wasn’t so ambitious, so we had to walk a ways.
It was one of those New York City early evenings where the sky virtually glowed from a mixture of the setting sun reflecting on the buildings, and the lights of Broadway. We had sold a kidney (well, not really, but practically) to get two seats in the Richard Rodgers Theater for what was the performance of the decade – Hamilton. As we waited in the long line that covered the sidewalk, we watched as people came and went from the stage door. Delivery guys with food entered and exited, performers arrived and disappeared behind the door, all under the watchful eyes of a stage door manager who seemed to know everyone.
When they finally let us in, it was a cattle call. Shoulder to shoulder, one shuffling step after another, we made our way into the cramped entry hall of the theater and up a double staircase to the very top of the theater. I said we got seats, but they were as far up in the rafters of the old theater as you could get. It didn’t matter. The show was amazing and no doubt would have still be amazing if we were only able to hear it from the lobby. I forgot the cramped quarters in which we sat and the fact that I couldn’t see the performers very clearly – the music and the choreography gripped you from the opening musical note until the curtain fell.
The magic of Hamilton is that it made history reachable by the modern audience. Their struggles seemed like our struggles, even with over 200 years of dust separating us.