It’s hard to look anywhere in Broadway news these days without hearing about “Hamilton,” the ground-breaking hip-hop musical (created by and starting literal genius Lin-Manuel Miranda) about the life and times of founding father Alexander Hamilton. As someone who was lucky enough to see the show back in August (after years of looking forward to it following this and Miranda’s first Broadway musical, “In the Heights“), I can tell you that it lives up to all of the hype and then some. This show is truly incredible and because of that, it’s like, super difficult to get tickets.
The show, like many on Broadway, has a lottery two hours before each performance where people can put their name in for a chance at last-minute tickets for that night’s show. In this case, the tickets are $10, a “Ham” for “Ham,” if you will. Miranda decided to add some extra fun to this event a few times a week with five-minute shows before the winning names are called, now known as “The Ham4Ham Show.” They can really be anything; sometimes there’s special guests like beat-boxing dynamo Shockwave of rap-improv group Freestyle Love Supreme (I was actually at this one!), other times it’s just cast members from “Hamilton” showing off their own special skills.
This “Ham4Ham Show” in particular celebrated the heroes behind the scenes. Miranda brought out “Hamilton” Stage Manager Jason Bassett to call cues while the cast performed the musical number “The Ten Duel Commandments.” I found this one to be especially awesome because not only does it show one of “Hamilton’s” amazing musical numbers in all its glory, but it also gives a real glimpse into all of the action going on backstage to make what we see onstage happen. It can be easy to forget that when you’re focused on the performance, so it’s great to see it recognized like this.
Enjoy the video and look for more on YouTube. Howard Sherman, an NYC-based arts administrator and advocate, seems to be there for most, if not all of them and always provides video. Also, check out the show’s cast recording, currently available on iTunes. It’s really one of the best I’ve ever heard. And if you get a chance, try and see the show! I promise, you too will become OBSESSED.