I have been pretty obsessed with the music of Hamilton for several months, so I pretty much flipped out when the cast performed musical selections from their Broadway show for President Obama, the First Lady, and a small audience today. You can see the President’s introduction and an amazing few minutes of their performance here. Michelle Obama’s tweet summed up my emotional state after seeing the show a few weeks back: The world will never be the same.
I gushed about Hamilton on this blog in early February and was lucky enough see the performance on Broadway a few days after. I’m here to report that the show was everything I’d hoped and more.
What I found particularly striking was how much the Broadway performance felt like a living, breathing organism. I was a theatre geek in high school, obsessed with Les Mis and Miss Saigon, and had a part in just about every show that was produced in my four year career. I know that shows have a life of their own, and create a world all their own. But at Hamilton, as an audience member with so much passion for the story, being in the room where it unfolded was a revelation.
I was also struck by the performers’ physical and creative stamina. How does the cast maintain their energy and give an ovation-worthy performance every single time? They perform their show 8 times a week. Think about that…the same 2 hour and 45 minute show 8 times in 7 days. It’s vocally demanding, and requires athleticism and mental sharpness to get all the transitions just right. And I’m sure it’s slightly different every time because it’s in the moment, and for that particular audience who will react in its own way that is slightly different than last night’s audience.
As facilitators, we are always thinking about how we keep our ideas and designs fresh, and what we need to do to maintain our creative edge. The variables and personalities in the mix are constantly changing. We strive to deliver superior outcomes and a peak experience of collaboration. For me, Hamilton is a touchstone for what that looks and feels like.
So yes, from the storytelling to the music to the talent of the cast, Hamilton really does live up to the hype. Getting tickets to the Broadway production is about as likely as seeing a unicorn, but there’s hope! They are launching a national tour and a Chicago production soon. In the meantime, check out #Bam4Ham for yesterday’s festivities.