Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ham4Ham show

Ever since I heard about the #Ham4Ham show where Lin-Manuel Miranda pops out from back stage for a brief five-minute show, often with a guest, often followed by the famous in-person Hamilton lottery, I wanted to take Ashley into NYC to "be in the street where it happens," so to say.

We looked at the calendar. Though she graduated on June 3, it looked like our first chance to go would be on June 22. The day was beautiful. We parked my car at her friend's father's office on Alexander Road (with his permission, of course) and walked nearly a mile to the train station. From what I've heard about parking at Princeton Junction, this was easier. We caught the 9:35 express and walked to the Richard Rogers theater. About a block before we got there we saw a long line of people. At first we thought they were a tour group waiting for their bus. Literally the line was wrapped around the building, there must have been close to a thousand people in it. The line passed the kiosks on the corner of 8th and 46th, and went past Les Mis (wonder what they think of it all) and ended at the stage door to Hamilton. 

Decisions, decisions. Do we stand in this line and hope to get to the front in time to enter the #Ham4Ham lottery, or stand by the barricades across the street and have a shot at seeing the show live. We went across the street as the line continued to grow. Besides, the same father was expecting Ashley at his office by 6 to see his daughter's acrobatic routine.

Oh, and we already won tickets back in April so I would have felt wrong trying to win again.

While looking for statistics on the chances of winning, I stumbled upon THIS article from They say 10,000 people a day enter. Wow, Don was very lucky when he won.

In the end, Ashley was happy with seeing the show from across the street. By being in the front, she was not squeezed in the middle and was "satisfied" by being there.

I tried to step back and just enjoy the moment. We stood in place for about an hour and 45 minutes. An annoying little girl ahead of us left to have lunch with her family, and wormed her way back in front of me, which was fine until she stood on the barricade blocking my view, and even blocking part of Ashley's view (she couldn't have been more than 4 feet tall). Her parents were behind us calling her name, passing her water, and otherwise being annoying. People, when you are waiting for an event like this it is rude to leave, have lunch, etc., and come back expecting your spot to magically be waiting for you. Besides, they had tickets to see the real show that night.

Before noon a woman stepped out with a table and pieces of paper. Before that the area by the stage door was cleared. She encouraged the line to grab their paper, keep moving, write their names on the paper, and drop it in the box. It was so well organized you'd think they do this everyday, wait they do. They really moved through the line. We could have entered our names in the lottery, and been herded with a couple of thousand others, instead we stood here. -->

Around 12:30 Lin came out and spoke. I could kind of hear him. The write up from Playbill is better than anything I could come up with. It was announced Rory O'Malley (who took over the role of King George in April) will take over the #Ham4Ham shows once Lin leaves. O'Malley sang a song from "Book of Mormon." Aaron Tveit (from "Grease Live") made an appearance and sang a song I didn't know, but which made the crowd (including Ashley) swoon, or at least cheer. Honestly he could have been singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and the crowd would have gone wild.

The show was filmed in 360 Live so you can see the insanity for yourself:

I'm glad we did it once, but I'll be happy to watch future ones on YouTube, they are quite entertaining.

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