What Makes a Musical INTERESTING? AKA the thread that became All About the Hamilton!!!

The annual Tony Awards celebrating Broadway's best and brightest always inspire me and renew my love of musical theatre. Not that I ever lose that love per se, but it renews my excitement. It also introduces me to shows I might not have been interested in beforehand.

A couple of years ago, there was an awesome performance from a show called A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder that I didn't think about either way. Than they performed "I've Decided to Marry You" at the Tony Awards and it was so funny that I had to get tickets to see it!

Last night's show was one of the most memorable, fun Tonys in a long time. There have been moments of brilliance (Can we ever forget the way Something Rotten opened last year's Tonys with "A Musical," a song that is PERFECT because it describes....a musical!?

My favorite years when the Tonys have felt the most inspired are when they have been hosted by Neil Patrick Harris or Hugh Jackman.............and now James Corden. Last night was THE best full Awards Ceremony I can recall. It had entertainment throughout. It didn't feel stilted, where you were forced to laugh because jokes were falling flat. The opening number was so inspirational because it encouraged children and teenagers to get into theatre.

There were many moments that reached out and stopped, and gave people a chance to pay their respects for the horrors that happened yesterday in Orlando. There were some absolutely inspirational speeches ( Leslie Odom, Jr., Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Frank Langella were particular stand-outs).

There were, of course, quite a few Hamilton moments....largely because Hamilton had a record-breaking SIXTEEN nominations (Though it lost to The Producers last night because The Producers won 12 Tonys its year and Hamilton won 11). In fact, Hamilton got to do a second number after winning for Musical of the Year, PLUS the way they do #HamForHam on Wednesdays was replicated outside the venue before commercial break with every nominated show.

Love it or hate it, Hamilton has inspired a new generation and gotten them into the theatre. How many more people watched the Tonys yesterday because they're obsessed with Hamilton? How many new fans are out there? Sure, maybe they (for now!) only like Hamilton, but they'll explore more and grow and change and evolve. When Wicked came out, the teens only loved Wicked. Then they saw the next shows that Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth were in....just because it was Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth. (I was in this group, actually!! Wicked was my first Broadway show and I definitely still follow the careers of both women!). They've since grown up and fallen for other shows as well.

Hamilton is unique in that it's that "once in a generation" show. There hasn't been a show like Hamilton since Rent. Rent changed the boundaries of Broadway and opened up the realm of possibility. It made it accessible to poor students. It struck a chord with so many. There are so many parallels between the two shows--and I love that the cast of Hamilton performed a song from Rent last night during their Tony #HamForHam.

I hope that everyone getting into theatre now because of Hamilton explores what else is out there. There is so much to love and discover and enjoy. Granted, Hamilton is absolutely brilliant and unique and like nothing else (AND I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE IT IN SEPTEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!), but it's also not the only show out there. Last night, someone commented that Twitter was only talking about Hamilton and there were so many other shows just this season. That's true, of course, but it hasn't been a particularly strong season. Some seasons are just like that. The only other show garnering much buzz this season is Waitress , in part because it was composed by Sara Bareilles  (Anther show I get to see this fall, whoooo!!!). Next season, on the other hand? THERE ARE ALREADY THE SHOWS I MUST SEE (Dear Evan Hansen, Anastasia, Sweet Charity revival). And I can't wait to see what else the season brings!! I'll have a LOT to root for at next year's ceremony!

This year, well.........you can see where my allegiance lies:

True story? I heard about Hamilton last year and went,  ehhh, whatever, not my thing. I bought the 2-disc cast recording in February, and it took me about two months to fully get through it. Largely because I kept listening in order....and kept falling asleep. I was SO sick this year, as you guys know, and have had no concentration. Plus,  it's a VERY dense show (more words than any other musical are crammed in due to the style it utilizes). I don't have good hearing and have to follow along in the libretto until I GET it...which also drains my energy. Listening/Focusing so hard on words drains me so much. It's not Hamilton's fault by any means! Les Mis, Rent, Sweeney Todd, Miss Saigon..... the list of shows that it took me a LONG time to listen to is vast...and these are some of my favorite shows!!!

This is why, in part, Hamilton is so brilliant. The more you listen to it, the more you GET it. So many sentences and refrains are reiterated throughout. Songs that I shrugged off now get stuck in my head because I know the other songs so well and the way pieces are woven together is amazing. Only this month, I picked up on the fact that there's a BOOM in "Right Hand Man" that leads into the song "Helpless," where one of my favorite lines is, "Then you walked in and my heart went BOOM." Even little things like THAT are woven seamlessly together. Every time I discover something new,  I love the show more and find it to be even more brilliant.

Now, so many songs are constantly stuck in my head and my heart. I listen to this multiple times a week. I YouTube clips so I can "see" this brilliant show before I actually SEE it so I can visualize more as I listen.

And......this just went from a thread where I talk about musicals in general to one where I ramble on about Hamilton , so I should just STOP. Quit while I'm ahead, you know? ^^;;;;;

Maybe I'll do another post soon that's a little more structured!!!!!!!

If you love musicals and skipped the Tonys because, ugggggh, Awards . see if you can find it On Demand or catch clips on YouTube. The telecast was SO much fun this year, and NOT just because of Hamilton!!!