Our oldest daughter turned us on to the soundtrack sometime back, and it is amazing. This new musical tells the story of our founding fathers and the establishment of the United States as an independent nation, from the perspectives of some very ambitious, and very flawed, public figures, namely Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. The style of song and dance is hip-hop. I just... I don't know... Well, just google it for an explanation, I guess, or watch the PBS special (which will tell you more about the history than about the musical, but it's something.)
So, we started talking to people on the street and texting friends who've seen the show, and it just seemed like a very real possibility, and at least a must-try. We arrived in the evening, way past our chances for Wednesday, so we picked up discount tickets to another show for that night. Thursday morning, I was letting Todd sleep, when he rolled over and looked at me and said, "What are you doing here?! I figured you'd be in the ticket line! Don't you remember how this works?!" He high-tailed it over to the Richard Rodgers Theatre on 46th Street, and I followed after a necessary Starbucks stop. The box office opened at 10:00, and workers confirmed what they confirm every day: no tickets. So, then, fans have the option to wait in the cancellation line. If, for any reason, tickets for that day's show are returned to the box office-- from journalists, celebrities, unclaimed lottery winners, etc.-- box office workers offer those tickets for resale at face value whenever they come in. We had been told to expect approximately 20 tickets per day would become available, possibly with additional standing-room-only spots that could come back from cast comp tickets. We were fifth in line; the first woman had arrived at 7 a.m., after getting in with a standing-room-only ticket the evening before-- she wanted to see it again!
Todd and I stayed all day, sometimes together, and sometimes taking turns. We made friends. On one side, there were two women from Utah who were hanging out while their husbands attended a real estate conference. They'd never really heard of "Hamilton" but quickly learned it was all the rage and decided to try their luck. On the other side were two older women, friends who had driven from Boston for a few days of show-seeing, but this was their mission. We waited all day, becoming more anxious, until it was less than 30 minutes till curtain. The security guards let in all the ticketed theatergoers, and then began calling in buyers from the cancellation line, one at a time. Each could purchase up to two tickets. They called in four people. I was next, but we were sent away.
We pouted. I admit it. After nine hours and the loss of the opportunity to buy other show tickets at rush or discounted prices, we were licking our wounds. We did go see another show. It was not "Hamilton." The next morning, I made sure I was the first in line. There were no guarantees we would get tickets, but, if we didn't, no one else would, either. The security guards and street sweepers gave me grief: "Are you sure you're first?" I was.