The Hamilton Experience in Chicago

I’m the mother of a 13-year-old boy who is smart, funny, athletic and more handsome then he understands. He, however, hates to read. He’s always hated reading. It is easily the number one thing we fight about.
I’ve tried bribing him many different ways over the years. Things that have worked with his brother, have not worked on him.
Reading for school is a fight. Reading for fun doesn’t exist in his world.
But give him the “Hamilton: The Revolution” book- and he’s read it cover to cover.

We started listening to the soundtrack on a road trip last year…and as a family, we’ve been hooked ever since.

Also helpful, said child was entering 8th grade and summer reading projects consisted of such titles as “George Washington: Spymaster” and “King George: What Was His Problem Anyway.”

So it’s safe to say as a family, we’re obsessed.  It’s become one of the only pieces of music we as a family of four can agree on and listen to in the car.  We always try to slip in a Hamilton-related quote at the most random opportunity.

Thankfully, obsessive behavior runs in the family and my Chicago-based sister managed to score tickets to Hamilton in Chicago.  And while the “Schuyler Sisters” sing about New York being the greatest city in the world, I like to believe they are singing about Chicago.

So this Thanksgiving weekend, we packed our backpacks for a short and amazing trip to Chicago- just me and my boy- to experience Hamilton.

And what an experience…

It’s amazing to think that while our expectations were THROUGH THE ROOF, the show somehow exceeded them.

The theater was abuzz with excitement; the cheering at certain moments; the crying. I could not stop crying. The laughs – so many funny moments you don’t get from the cast album.  Such passion from each actor.  Each performance was top-notch.  I was so impressed by Aaron Burr – to the point where you forgot about Hamilton – how is that possible!?!?! My mind is still blown at the whole experience.

I know the cast album backwards and forwards – but I found myself so completely engrossed by the performances, once a new song started, I would get so excited because I was lost in the show.

During intermission, it felt like everyone in the theater wanted to talk to each other to confirm that this was an amazing experience.  I waited in line to get my “Hamilton” drink (served in a souvenir glass!) and spoke to a mother from Denver, who had a kid who struggled in school, until Hamilton.  Yes, we bonded at the bar.  Just her and her son sharing a similar experience.  Pretty amazing.

To share this moment with my son is something I don’t think we will ever forget.  We keep replaying the whole day over and over again.  We listen to the cast album and recall our favorite parts.  It feels like we’re now members of a super-secret club and all we really want to do is go see it again.

All I can say is, if you get a chance to be in the room where it happens…don’t throw away your shot.