Poll

Should I go to a live performance, or wait for the DVD?

Go to a live performance this fall
54 (80.6%)
Wait a year for the DVD to come out
13 (19.4%)

Total Members Voted: 67

Author Topic: Should I go see Hamilton?  (Read 4308 times)

Caroline PF

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Should I go see Hamilton?
« on: April 21, 2019, 11:29:20 AM »
I believe that Mustachianism is about identifying priorities and spending on them, while saving in other places. Hamilton is something that I want to see, and I think I'd really enjoy it. I am willing to spend money on this.


My question is this: Hamilton is coming to a city near me this fall. I could get tickets for $$$ and see it.

<Or>

I could wait until 2020, when rumor has it that they will release the DVD of the original cast, and buy the DVD for $20-30.


In general, I'm not someone who values the experience of live performance over DVD, although there are exceptions to that rule. So, if a live performance would be much better, or if the DVD release won't happen for several years, I would opt for the $$$ live performance.

So, what do you think? Live performance this fall, or DVD sometime later?

Scotland2016

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2019, 12:23:52 PM »
Go! Hamilton is the work of a genius and there is something special about seeing it live.

secondcor521

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2019, 12:32:18 PM »
My daughter and I saw it on Broadway.  We paid $300 or $350 per ticket and it was worth every penny.  I've thought about seeing it again; it was that good.

Cranky

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2019, 01:27:43 PM »
Iím just too cheap. I know Iíd enjoy it, but Iím pretty sure I wouldnít enjoy it $300 worth (x 2).

InterfaceLeader

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2019, 01:41:45 PM »
I saw it live in London and it was freaking amazing. I don't think a DVD could capture the energy or experience of it. I'd say either live or not at all tbh!

BicycleB

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2019, 01:47:44 PM »
Since you are asking the question, you haven't tested in your own body the difference between live performance and a DVD. Go test it. With Hamilton.


StarBright

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2019, 02:21:52 PM »
I just saw it two weeks ago in Chicago and before I saw it was sort of kicking myself for spending the money, especially four years after it debuted. BUT - It is every bit as good as people say it is.

I'm a cynical theater nerd and was blown away by it. It is definitely a show to see live. The energy and forward motion that the choreography and chorus bring just wouldn't be the same via video.

Do it!

I'm a red panda

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2019, 05:04:03 PM »
I'd see it live. Stage shows are not blocked to be their best on film. It wouldn't be the same at all.

If you just plan to watch a DVD, it's all on YouTube anyway. (At least it was at one point)

startingsmall

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2019, 06:06:49 PM »
I just saw it two weeks ago in Chicago and before I saw it was sort of kicking myself for spending the money, especially four years after it debuted. BUT - It is every bit as good as people say it is.

I'm a cynical theater nerd and was blown away by it. It is definitely a show to see live. The energy and forward motion that the choreography and chorus bring just wouldn't be the same via video.

Do it!

Yes to all of this. Down to the regrets before the show and the cynical theater nerd part. My husband was the one who was dying to see it and I was super-skeptical about spending so much money.... but it was SOOOO worth it. So much amazing choreography and so many amazing little details. And that set!! Brilliant. All of it is brilliant.

Caroline PF

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2019, 08:33:51 PM »
There seems to be a pattern, both here, and in the people I've talked to in person.

Those who haven't seen the show are put off by the price.

Those who have seen it gush about it and say it's worth every penny.


Okay, you've convinced me. I'll see it in person. Tickets aren't on sale yet, but I will find out when they do, and jump on it right away.

Thanks!

CupcakeGuru

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2019, 03:24:09 AM »
I would definitely go see it. You save so you can do the things you want to do. 

You can also download the app and enter to win $10 tickets. I bought tickets and entered the raffle everyday it was in my city and WON! Sold the tickets I bought.

AlotToLearn

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2019, 03:51:14 AM »
Well worth it - enjoy the show!

Peachtea

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2019, 07:07:33 AM »
Check to see if your local city has a subscription. Several cities that get Hamilton include it their season subscription the first year itís there. The subscription is the same or only slightly more than tickets just to Hamilton and then youíre guaranteed tickets plus get to see 3 or 4 other shows. I wish I had known this for Chicago, but when it first came here it was the best deal and their subscriptions sold out quickly. My friend in Cincinnati got subscription for this purpose, although there you had to be a subscriber the previous year in order to subscribe to the next year with Hamilton in the package.

We finally went in January (Chicago) because we got tickets for Xmas. It was so good, I still enter the $10 lottery with the hopes of seeing it again. I think if itís still here next year, Iíll pay for tickets, maybe closer seats. (Our tickets were balcony, somewhat high but not top, and center for $90/night on a Wednesday. Having seen it, Iíd say itís probably worth $150 to get a little closer to better see facial expressions.) I like shows but Iím not really a theatre person, and I loved Hamilton. My DH doesnít normally like musicals but was curious because he liked the sound track and the historical based topic. He didnít have high expectations, but loved it and also said he would want to see it again... I was surprised how interactive it was and just the energy it builds.

remizidae

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2019, 08:25:28 AM »
You can listen to the soundtrack on YouTube right now for free. Or, wait a few years and see it live once the prices go down.

Romag

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2019, 08:34:28 AM »
I saw it twice - on Broadway and touring. It is an incredible show. Go see it.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2019, 08:44:09 AM »
You can listen to the soundtrack on YouTube right now for free. Or, wait a few years and see it live once the prices go down.

At least around here, touring shows prices don't really go down.  Doesn't matter what the show is, they are all about the same range, and all way more than I spend to see shows in NYC.

It may be another 5-10 years before it is heavily discounted on Broadway; but that would assume you can see it there.


use2betrix

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2019, 09:41:43 AM »
Iím surprised I havenít see it mentioned (maybe I missed it)... But.. Can you afford it?

I wouldnít recommend it to someone struggling to make rent and deeply in debt.

I might recommend it to someone who feels they are in a comfortable financial position.. Someone living paycheck to paycheck probably shouldnít go.. Someone making $100k and on a clear solid path to their goals, it might be justified..

honeybbq

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2019, 10:38:50 AM »
Check out the Hamilton thread in anti-MMM hall of fame.

It was worth every cent to me. Best show I've ever seen.

Learn the music ahead of time, you'll follow the story line better.

zhelud

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2019, 10:51:50 AM »
I've listened to the original cast soundtrack so many times that I am sure that if I went to see any of the current versions with different casts I would be disappointed!
I am thrilled to learn that there will be an original cast DVD eventually (if that is true) - I can wait!

Annie101

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2019, 11:07:38 AM »
I was able to get Hamilton tickets from the venue by signing up as a verified fan.  I still got lucky, as not all who signed up got through the website, but you might be able to get them at a reasonable price.  I like the idea of getting season tickets (as someone else mentioned) if that works.  Check with the venue.

I really wanted to see Bruce Springsteen on Broadway and I am still kind of kicking myself that I didn't.  It was $1000 per ticket, so I just couldn't justify it.  I wish I had gone.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2019, 11:24:46 AM »
I've listened to the original cast soundtrack so many times that I am sure that if I went to see any of the current versions with different casts I would be disappointed!
I am thrilled to learn that there will be an original cast DVD eventually (if that is true) - I can wait!

I've seen so many shows with many different casts and I've almost never been disappointed.  I'd be happy to see any of the Hamilton casts.

The only time I've been disappointed with a substitution was when I saw "It's Only a Play" and the understudy for Stockard Channing was a 20-something.  A role you'd cast a 70-something in just shouldn't be interchangeable with a 20-something. It made no sense in the context of the story.


StarBright

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2019, 12:01:13 PM »
Most cities also have a lottery system you can join to get really cheap tickets -- no guarantee, but something to try.  I would buy regular seats as well, and then sell them (or see it twice...)

If Into the Heights ever plays in your area I would highly recommend seeing that, too -- you can see how LMM took many of the features he originally explored in that production and expanded/developed them in Hamilton.  He is a master of the stage, to be sure...

Fun tidbit related to the bolded - My MIL is a flight attendant and has had LMM on her LA/NYC route a bunch. She said he spends all of his flights watching movies/musicals and taking notes.

She said he spent several flights watching The Greatest Showman and filled a huge notebook. He works hard at being an excellent dramaturg!

Telecaster

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2019, 12:18:22 PM »
This author travel hacked her way to London to see Hamilton:

Last week I flew all the way to the UK to see a Hamilton performance on Londonís West End. Thanks to credit card points, the whole trip for two cost far less money than a single premium ticket to see the show in NYC. Plus, I got to spend a week in London as a bonus!


https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/hamilton-in-london-using-rewards-points/

danakado

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2019, 12:28:15 PM »
I just saw it and I wouldn't spend that much if given the choice again.  I think the problem was that the expectations were so high? I was familiar with the music and the story line and it was good but not amazing for me.  Clearly I"m in the minority on this view:) 

BicycleB

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2019, 12:05:30 PM »
Most cities also have a lottery system you can join to get really cheap tickets -- no guarantee, but something to try.  I would buy regular seats as well, and then sell them (or see it twice...)

If Into the Heights ever plays in your area I would highly recommend seeing that, too -- you can see how LMM took many of the features he originally explored in that production and expanded/developed them in Hamilton.  He is a master of the stage, to be sure...

Fun tidbit related to the bolded - My MIL is a flight attendant and has had LMM on her LA/NYC route a bunch. She said he spends all of his flights watching movies/musicals and taking notes.

She said he spent several flights watching The Greatest Showman and filled a huge notebook. He works hard at being an excellent dramaturg!

That is a very cool and reassuring anecdote.

August26th

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2019, 01:43:03 PM »
Can someone explain WHY Hamilton is so amazing? Donít want to hijack the thread, but I want to understand why this particular Broadway show is (or is not) worth the money. That would put the OPís question into context, at least for me.

Iíve seen several Broadway shows and they were all wonderful... just want to understand the ďHamilton HypeĒ.

Iíve listened to most of the soundtrack and know I would love it.

startingsmall

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2019, 02:28:20 PM »
Can someone explain WHY Hamilton is so amazing? Donít want to hijack the thread, but I want to understand why this particular Broadway show is (or is not) worth the money. That would put the OPís question into context, at least for me.

Iíve seen several Broadway shows and they were all wonderful... just want to understand the ďHamilton HypeĒ.

Iíve listened to most of the soundtrack and know I would love it.

For me, it was largely about the set (and the creative ways that it was used) and the amazing choreography/blocking. There were so many scenes that I just sat through with my mouth hanging open, because I was blown away at unexpected ways that, for example, a tabletop would appear at the EXACT moment that someone needed to sign something.

There's also just a huge energy to the show. Unlike some other Broadway shows, there's no real downtime. I literally felt like I sat on the edge of my seat with my mouth open for the entire show.

honeybbq

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2019, 12:54:15 PM »
Can someone explain WHY Hamilton is so amazing? Donít want to hijack the thread, but I want to understand why this particular Broadway show is (or is not) worth the money. That would put the OPís question into context, at least for me.

Iíve seen several Broadway shows and they were all wonderful... just want to understand the ďHamilton HypeĒ.

Iíve listened to most of the soundtrack and know I would love it.

5 minute response on why it is so amazing:

Music: It's not classical aria/squeaky soprano and handsome tenor battling back and forth. It's completely unique in that it is rap/hip-hop/punky/techno blend of a musical.

Topic: It has politics, love, fighting, family, deception, adversaries. It's like the Princess bride - it has a little bit of everything but it staged in American History.. and is for the most part true!

Delivery: It's punchy. It uses soliloquies that are permanently etched in your brain that are not forced but flow beautifully. I didn't know that "rap" style language could flow so well and be so on point. It really is amazing IMO.

Stage: As mentioned, the scenes themselves are staged and choreographed beautifully and in a very original way. There's a scene where everyone rotates on different platforms in different directions and it uses that to show reversals and slow downs in time. I know nothing about stage effects or what this is called, but it was clearly a brilliant way to stage a scene and show reverse chronology and different character viewpoints. It's like the Matrix except in real life!

I was SO worried when I plunked down $300+ for tickets because things that are hyped this much seldom deliver. I was overjoyed and would happily plunk down $300 to see it
again.

PS

Oh and there's some comedy and everyone sings along with the king of England:
You say
The price of my love's not a price that you're willing to pay
You cry
In your tea which you hurl in the sea when you see me go by
Why so sad?
Remember we made an arrangement when you went away
Now you're making me mad
Remember, despite our estrangement, I'm your man
You'll be back, soon you'll see
You'll remember you belong to me
You'll be back, time will tell
You'll remember that I served you well
Oceans rise, empires fall
We have seen each other through it all
And when push comes to shove
I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 01:20:56 PM by honeybbq »

MandalayPA

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2019, 02:33:09 PM »
I just saw it and I wouldn't spend that much if given the choice again.  I think the problem was that the expectations were so high? I was familiar with the music and the story line and it was good but not amazing for me.  Clearly I"m in the minority on this view:)

I saw it in Orlando in February and had much the same reaction.  I enjoyed it but I guess I'm missing the OMG BEST EVAR thing.

calimom

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2019, 08:18:42 PM »
I'm seeing it next month in San Francisco! A friend is taking me and my eldest daughter as her treat. Noblesse oblige, thy name is me. She's also kindly offering a night's stay at her apartment. To kick in, I'm taking her out to a kick ass restaurant dinner. I don't often get to see decent theater, or have a night out in the big city, so greatly looking forward. I love the music.

oldtoyota

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #30 on: April 24, 2019, 09:05:51 PM »
Go! Hamilton is the work of a genius and there is something special about seeing it live.

Worth it. I would go again.

tips^up

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2019, 08:21:41 AM »
We went last year.  I'm not a huge theater person.  It was absolutely incredible.  I would go again if I had the opportunity!

StarBright

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2019, 08:32:43 AM »
Stage: As mentioned, the scenes themselves are staged and choreographed beautifully and in a very original way. There's a scene where everyone rotates on different platforms in different directions and it uses that to show reversals and slow downs in time. I know nothing about stage effects or what this is called, but it was clearly a brilliant way to stage a scene and show reverse chronology and different character viewpoints. It's like the Matrix except in real life!


Yes -- this scene is one of the most amazing bits of theater ever conceived.   If you have ever worked on a stage production and know how hard it is to get all the bits and pieces to come together in the right way (acting/singing/dancing, staging, costumes, set design, lighting, sound) it just boggles the mind that LMM could even conceive of it, much less make it work.

+2 ^^ That scene is some A+ theater.

So, IMHO, what makes Hamilton so good is that lyrically and musically, LMM uses balance and structure so beautifully. I've been analyzing it like a total nerd since I saw it and I think one of the reasons the show is so captivating live is that uses classical theatrical and musical structure so well that is allows his innovations to feel really organic and familiar. He uses every theater trick in the book (from Euripedes to Les Mis) and he just deploys them in a way that is SO SMART.

He uses leitmotivs (or musical themes) ahead of time to balance out the word heavy rapped sections so even if you don't get every word you've been musically/emotionally cued to take get the right "feeling" from it. He makes insanely good use of alliteration (which our brains love because they are built to look for patterns). And the second half of the show is more of a typical book musical which really makes space for the emotions of the second act and it doesn't feel cheap or manipulative. 

Ugh - it really is just so brilliant all the way around.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 08:57:17 AM by StarBright »

mcneally

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2019, 12:29:20 PM »
I just saw it and I wouldn't spend that much if given the choice again.  I think the problem was that the expectations were so high? I was familiar with the music and the story line and it was good but not amazing for me.  Clearly I"m in the minority on this view:)

That was my reaction. I saw it in Chicago 1.5 years ago after having been mildly obsessed with it for a while. It was really good, but expectations were really high and I kind of walked away thinking it wasn't worth the money.  OP has probably heard the soundtrack 100 times, so the music/ story line isn't anything new.

OP never mentioned how much she's expecting to pay, so I don't know how everyone is able to provide go/ don't advice. I paid $250 on StubHub for a mediocre seat and I thought that was too much. Maybe worth that much for the first several rows, $150 for the mediocre seats I had, or $50 for the back (but really why go at all if you're at the back of a 3,000 seat theater?). Of course, if OP makes much more money than me, those numbers could be higher.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 03:58:38 PM by mcneally »

HappyCheerE

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #34 on: September 08, 2019, 05:04:26 PM »
Old thread but wanted to share: I got tickets through the lottery last night and it was AMAZING!!! I'm glad I paid $10 instead of $$$, and glad I persisted with the lottery, but honestly it would have been worth much more. I'm delighted with my Mustachian experience though.

I've been entering the NYC lottery for years, and tried for Providence and Schenectady too - got the good news mid-day Friday at work. DH wasn't going to want to go, and ages ago I had asked our oldest friend in NY if he wanted to come with me if I ever did win, ... so I texted him and he was in. I had until 4pm to buy the tickets for the Saturday 8pm show. We live about 3 hours from NYC and I had already planned that if I ever won, I would probably just drive down and back. I took a scenic detour to go to a museum for free thanks to Bank of America, paid less toll ($2.70) than usual ($7) because we now have a NY EZPass (since that's where we travel most frequently), found street parking (at a meter, but only $7 compared to $13 for the cheapest garage), got a free giant latte at Starbucks to keep me away (the bagged coffee is our house brew so we get points), and rode my folding bike to the theater.

We were IN THE FIRST ROW!!! The stage is so tall that means you have to crane your neck and people are a little foreshortened, but the view was incredible - nothing like seeing the actors every expression, and their panting after the big dance numbers - and we got a peek into the pit. It's a live orchestra but they play in the basement so normally the audience doesn't see them at all. In a crack at the edge of the stage we could see the top of the drummer's head and heard him warming up.

The book and music are truly one of the 21st century's greatest artistic achievements, IMO, but the full experience was way better than the soundtrack. I love good live theater but this was over-the-top extra in every way - singing, dancing, costumes, choreography. If you're anywhere near one of the regular or touring cities, definitely download the lottery app, and keep trying! Good luck!

BlueHouse

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2019, 01:10:42 PM »
Despite having multiple theater subscriptions, I know very little about how things happen behind the scenes (and consequently, I don't know how much I should appreciate certain effects).   


For Hamilton, I suggest donating to WETA or whatever your local PBS station is so that you can access their subscription videos and watch the full length Great Performances show "Hamilton's America".  Then do research.  YouTube has a ton of videos from musical geniuses who explain how superb the music and lyrics are.  If you really get into it, read the original book Hamilton by Ron Chernow and then the Federalist Papers. 

Honestly, I needed all of these materials for me to fully appreciate just how great the musical is.  Without them, I would have loved the show, but with them, I loved it 10X as much and felt the full ticket price was more than worth what I got out of it. 

FR2000EE

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2019, 10:08:40 PM »
I saw it in NYC on a vacation with friends. It was a bucket list item for another person on the trip. The tickets were very expensive ($550-600) and I had to think about it for a few days. In the end, I decided to join the group because I wanted to experience the event with friends. It was one of my favorite parts of the trip. While I still think the cost was exorbitant, the experience was top notch. I didn't regret spending the money at all.

TheGadfly

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2019, 12:13:58 PM »
See it live. We scored awesome balcony seats for $90 each for a Chicago production by purchasing at the box office day-of.

We also saw it in our hometown (Lansing, MI) at Michigan State for $105 each (we purchased the tickets from a friend with season passes to the theater). Seats were decent but not as good as Chicago


Caroline PF

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2019, 11:35:12 AM »
I bought tickets, and just went to see it.

OMG! It was amazing, and worth every penny! There were so many visual details that I couldn't get from the soundtrack, from mannerisms (Jefferson and King George stole the show), to the intricate dance numbers, and the set pieces.

So glad I went. Thanks for all the advice!

Dicey

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Re: Should I go see Hamilton?
« Reply #39 on: October 02, 2019, 06:27:30 PM »
Been twice, will go again. DH, who had never been to live theater before we married, absolutely loves it. And "In The Heights" is coming to a theater near me very soon. We already have the season tickets, this was a TBA surprise. Can't wait! We plan on YouTubing the shit out of it before we go. The more you know, the more you enjoy it.