I’m one of those super uncultured losers who aren’t into the theater at all, especially musicals, and I have someone managed to make it to the year 2019 without hearing a single song from the soundtrack. But I at least knew the gist of it though, because I’m a moderately-educated American.
For instance, Chooch was surprised when I mentioned something about Aaron Burr the other day.
“You know about that?!” he asked, incredulous at the prospect of his lame mom knowing anything at all about Hamilton.
“Well, yeah,” I cried defensively. “I went to school!”
But in reality, I only know about Aaron Burr thanks to that Got Milk commercial from the 90s, but hey – AT LEAST I KNEW.
Our tickets were for this past Wednesday, January 2, which was perfect because it was still close enough to Christmas that it felt like a Christmas present for Chooch, and it was the second performance of the Pittsburgh run. Part of me was like, “Cool let’s get this over with” but there was definitely a part that was curious as well. People kept telling me that I had to listen to the soundtrack first or else I probably wouldn’t “understand” the show, but I never got around to it. Guys, when I’m obsessed with something, I have blinders on. There was no room in any of my days to listen to this.
Henry brought Chooch downtown on Wednesday. When I walked over to the car to get him, Henry was like, “Um, watch where you stand” and I was like, “?????????”
I looked down at my feet and there was a puddle of something near them.
OH, JUST CHOOCH’S PUKE, YOU GUYS.
Apparently, he drank bad egg nog at school and by the time Henry brought him downtown, his stomach had had enough and he puked outside of the car.
I started to panic. Was he going to make it through this night? Was I going to have to quickly sell these tickets? But Chooch was like, “No, I’m fine! I’ll be OK, I swear!” I had planned on taking him to V3 for pre-show pizza, but he was like, “I had pizza for lunch…” meaning, the puddle on the sidewalk was his pizza. He was like, “I just won’t eat, I’ll just get a drink” but then he agreed to split a personal pizza with me. He seemed to perk up after that, but I had flashbacks to when I was the same age as him and my mom took my best friend Christy and me to the Fulton Theater downtown to see Annie, the only musical I have ever truly loved. (OK, and RHPS, too.) Prior to the show, we stopped and had pizza. Christy started to complain halfway through the show of a stomach ache.
By the time the show was over and we were leaving our seats, she had apparently gotten worse. I kept jokingly pushing her down the steps in the aisle, in spite of her warnings that she was going to puke. I laughed like the greatest friend that I am and said “Yeah right!” as I gave her one final push. Her final plea was cut off halfway through as her words were replaced by a spewing geyser of vomit.
It was one of those AND TIME STOOD STILL moments. I vividly remember this little girl walking by with her rich-bitch mommy in a fur coat and screaming, “EW MOMMY LOOK!” Christy was mortified, my mom was like, “She’s not with me” and I was laughing because well, I was a dick even back then.
To this day, Christy gets mad when I bring this up.
Was Chooch going to yak during Hamilton? Did we have an aisle seat?! WAS IT TOO LATE FOR HENRY TO COME BACK AND TAKE MY PLACE?!
But, by the time we finished the pizza, Chooch was feeling fine. I knew he didn’t want to miss this show but I still kept asking him over and over because PLEASE DON’T EMBARRASS ME. Karma, come back another day!
He seemed completely back to normal once we walked over to the Benedum – maybe seeing the lights and all of the Hamilton posters chased the spoiled egg nog away (his idiot Communications teacher gave it to him and it was from the class Christmas party THAT HAPPENED BEFORE CHRISTMAS BREAK. WTF was she thinking?!). We had about an hour before the show started but I’m always nervous before any type of event so I was like, “WE’RE HERE SO WE MIGHT AS WELL JUST GO IN OMG YOU DIDN’T BRING A SWITCHBLADE DID YOU?” as we walked through the security checkpoint.
He didn’t, thank god. And I brought a tiny purse with nothing other than my phone and lipgloss in it so we breezed right through and then got in the merch line to pay a fucking $40 t-shirt (a steal when compared to the $50 water bottle that Chooch originally wanted. A FIFTY DOLLAR WATER BOTTLE.)
After that, we had 30 minutes to kill before we were allowed to go to our seats (which, btw, were not on the aisle) so we sat near a balcony and judged people.
“Even with all these rich people here, I dare you to find a nicer coat than mine down there,” I challenged Chooch, and after craning his neck for several minutes, he reluctantly conceded that my awesome goldenrod tapestry coat was indeed the best coat in the whole house. *blows on fingertips*
Our seats weren’t as terrible as I thought! We were in the balcony but the view was great.
Our seats were right next to my friend Lori from work and her mom. Lori and I went and bought our tickets at the same time at the box office several weeks ago so the box office guy gave us seats next to each other, which was cool. She took a picture of me looking at my phone and posted it on Facebook with the caption, “Sorry Erin, there are no Koreans in this production” or something and of course all the people liking it were our fellow co-workers, ugh! It’s true though that I did look up the cast in advance to see if any Koreans were in it and I was excited for a second when it looked like the guy playing Washington was Korean but it ended up being a different traveling cast, ugh.
I’m not gonna lie – I was nervous when the lights went down and the first scene started, because like I said, I hadn’t listened to any of the songs and people were essentially shaming me for this. But I got into it very easily! Maybe just people who aren’t familiar with rap/hip hop should listen to it first? I don’t know, but that’s the music I listened to for most of my teen years so I wasn’t like, shocked, and if anything, even though it did have a lot of flava to it, it still mostly sounded like a musical to me.
I won’t go into every single detail here but my lord, that by far surpassed the hype, in my opinion. And I’m one of those people who’s extremely stubborn and will often hate popular things right away without giving it a chance because I’m not a very agreeable personality. This is also why I was glad that we got tickets for the second night because it seems like nearly our entire department is going to see it at some point and I feel like if I had to sit there and hear people around me talking about it every day, I would probably get tired of hearing about it and lose interest, maybe? This is the type of person I am. You’re learning lots about me today!
BUT WAIT BACK UP — this is really about Chooch. I was scared that he would lose interest at some point because he’s like that – even when we’re at concerts for bands he likes, he’s like checking his phone for Fortnite updates and getting fidgety. But on this night, he sat up straight, never took his eyes off the stage (except for a few times when he was trying to look at things in the program, which was adorable), and he fucking applauded like this was 1942 and he was wearing gloves at the Opera. I kept sneaking peeks at him and it was absolutely heart-warming to see the expression on his face! 100% worth the hassle and cost of those tickets (Henry has reminded me numerous times that my G-Dragon tickets cost nearly 3x what I paid for Hamilton LOLOLOL all the way to the poor house).
By the end of the show, my face was wet from all the tears. “I KNEW you would cry!” Chooch laughed.
I wasn’t prepared for how emotionally draining it would be! I am so happy that we went. I learned a lot too, lol! I would 100% not only recommend this to everyone I know, but I would go see it again for sure. It really felt we were watching the theatrical masterpiece of our generation.
When we got home that night, Chooch had to do his homework still so he put on the Hamilton soundtrack and started writing Hamilton-related sample sentences using prepositional phrases, but only after he opened up the program and underlined all of his favorite songs after seeing the show live. So, I think it’s safe to say that this really was Chooch’s “big” Christmas present — and he didn’t embarrass me by puking!
[P.S. Someone on Instagram asked if we “let” Henry come too and 1. we aren’t rich people who could afford three tickets to that, thanks; and 2. Henry preferred to stay home and have his own private musical called “Henry Has the House to Himself.” Act 1: Whoa, Time to Watch AMERICAN TV! Act 2: Sleeping on the Couch with the Cat.]