Hamilton in LA

Started by Chris L, Sep 25, 2017, 10:43 am

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Chris L

We saw the touring company of Hamilton at the Pantages last night in Hollywood. We had seen the original production when we were in New York in the fall of 2015 and this was staged on a slightly reduced scale. (For instance, while I remember two concentric turntables on stage rotating in opposite directions for the original production, I'm pretty sure this only had one, rotating counterclockwise when I was aware of it, though we were so close to the stage this time that the turntables weren't visible the way they were last time from the mezzanine.)

I think I enjoyed it more this time than the first, though that's partly because I know the show better now. Some of the players had done the New York production at one time or another and if I had my program handy I'd tell you which ones. The understudy was in the title role and his bio in the program was sparse, but he was excellent and I honestly think I preferred him to Lin-Manuel Miranda. The actor who played King George had done the role at some point in New York and chewed the scenery hilariously. And the actor in the Burr role was superb.

My appreciation of the show, its score and its consistently ingenious staging (which despite the slightly reduced scope was essentially the same as in New York), has only grown and I'm listening to the score again on my Echo.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Chris L

Probably because the crowd was younger than typical for a musical and because the album has become such a phenomenon, there was more of a rock concert feel in the house than when we first saw it, with screaming when the actors came out, though this died down as the show went on.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

KathyB

How long is the touring production in L.A.? How difficult was it to get tickets? (Trying to judge this against how long it's going to be here.)

AmyG

We got the Pantages season last year just so we could get first crack at seats. There were 7 shows including Hamilton. We had no interest in seeing three of them and sold those tickets on stub hub for roughly face value.

The section we were in, which we upgraded to when ticket exchanges became available for subscribers, were priced at $650 each when they went on sale to the general public. We paid $200 each.

It opened August 11 and runs to December 30.

Chris L

@KathyB - There's an online Hamilton lottery for LA, Chicago and New York that you can enter every day or two for the city or cities of your choice. The downside is that you'll get only one or two days warning before the show, so you'd better be prepared to book a quick flight. Amy and I have been entering it through the iPhone Hamilton app.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Chris L

One thing that struck me about seeing it from the orchestra rather than the mezzanine is that I gained a new (not better, but different) appreciation of the blocking and choreography. In New York, we had terrific seats in the second row of the mezzanine, which at the Richard Rodgers thrusts out so far over the orchestra that we had a closer view of the actors than the majority of people below. We got what I think of as the Busby-Berkeley view of the choreography and could appreciate the byzantine complexity of the movements. From our orchestra seats this time around the blocking and choreography formed more of a series of tableaus, with six (I think) muscular dancers of both sexes forming living, writhing statues in a constantly changing piece of sculpture. It was beautiful -- from both positions.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

KathyB

The touring company of Hamilton will be in Denver for about six weeks. Tickets for first-run touring shows are notoriously difficult to get here unless you get season tickets to the touring package (called Center Attractions here). Which sounds kind of similar to what Amy described, except it'll be in L.A. for four months instead of six weeks. 

Yowza, though--$650 for a ticket. My entire season of the Denver Center Theatre Company (not Center Attractions) was $500.

Chris L

Quote from: KathyB on Sep 25, 2017, 04:24 pmYowza, though--$650 for a ticket. My entire season of the Denver Center Theatre Company (not Center Attractions) was $500.
Welcome, metaphorically, to LA, though I suspect that Hamilton is overpriced even for here.

Amy was very clever to get us the seats we got at the rates we got and still feels like she may have gotten away with something she shouldn't have. (But they let us in, honey, so I think your plan was brilliant!)
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Chris L

I'm still listening to Hamilton and it hit me during "The Room Where It Happens": This show is structured as The Tragedy of Aaron Burr. (Much the same way Jesus Christ Superstar is structured as The Tragedy of Judas Iscariot.)

I think this is really what gives the show its power, much the same way that structure gave JCSS its power
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

AmyG

I just took a look on Ticketmaster to see if they were sold out. There are still a smattering of seats in that front center section on weeknight shows and they are priced at $338. The weekends are all sold out though

ETA: That's weird. I just went back in and the front center are $650. I must have been mistaken. It's a crazy price but I guess they are getting it. There aren't that many seats left at that price. I would not pay that to see anything.

Gordonb

I guess this all puts my moaning about the prices for the 2018 Company in perspective; I can't be bothered to look but I wonder what  the London Hamilton tix are priced?

AmyG

Quote from: Gordonb on Sep 26, 2017, 05:56 amI can't be bothered to look but I wonder what  the London Hamilton tix are priced?
I bothered to look for you. £37.50, £57.50 or £89.50, Premium Tickets are £137.50 and £200. So the £200 is probably the equivalent of our $650 seats, so a better deal by far based on today's exchange rate. That being said, the first batch of tickets for London Hamilton are completely sold out and subsequent batches have yet to be released. There are still a few seats to be had at that crazy price here in Los Angeles. 

AmyG

Quote from: KathyB on Sep 25, 2017, 04:24 pmThe touring company of Hamilton will be in Denver for about six weeks. Tickets for first-run touring shows are notoriously difficult to get here unless you get season tickets to the touring package (called Center Attractions here). Which sounds kind of similar to what Amy described, except it'll be in L.A. for four months instead of six weeks.

Yowza, though--$650 for a ticket. My entire season of the Denver Center Theatre Company (not Center Attractions) was $500.
Our entire season for the Pantages (7 shows) was about $635 per person. We upgraded Hamilton for $100 each to get into that premium ($650) section. I really gamed the system, it would seem.

Gordonb

Thanks Amy - I am not bothered about seeing it anyway. I've tried listening to the OBCR but it just isn't doing anything for me. Maybe I'll have another try tomorrow in the hammock, cos once I'm in that thing I am not getting out of it in a hurry!

AmyG

Maybe that hammock will help you appreciate it more. :)  I liked it from listening the OBCR but many who didn't like it just listening to it loved it once they saw it. I'm sure it will be in London for years and years so you have plenty of time to decide whether to see it. We only got a tour. London, like Chicago and of course New York, have open-ended runs.