Monday, August 6, 2018


So, last week I did something a little crazy. Well, crazy for me anyway. I tried to get Hamilton tickets.

I imagine if you’re reading this, you probably fall into one of three categories of people and reacted in one of the following ways to what I just said.

1: Ahhh! Hamilton! I’m obsessed with it, too! I know all the songs, and I’ve been dying to see it!

2: Hmmm… another person talking about Hamilton tickets. What is it about this show? Maybe I should see it to see what all the fuss is about.

3: Ugh…another person talking about Hamilton. Just stop already. Who cares?

If you’re number 3, I’m sorry, but we can’t be friends anymore. Just kidding. Maybe.

I first heard of Hamilton a couple of years ago when it started really making headlines on Broadway and then especially when it won like a billion Tony Awards in 2016. In fact, I was in New York right after the Tony Awards in 2016 when Hamilton tickets were going for thousands of dollars a piece and no one could get them. Since I knew I wouldn’t be seeing it anytime soon, I bought the soundtrack of the Original Broadway Cast Recording to see what the fuss was about. I was immediately hooked. I must have listened to it 15-20 times in a row. I loved listening to the story of Alexander Hamilton play out in such a unique way. I mean, Hip Hop + History? Sign me up. Even Sadie got obsessed with the music. She started picking up on the voices of the different characters and downloaded it on her own iPad so she could listen to it. (Disclaimer: I did make some of the Explicit songs off-limits.) Listening to the music inspired me to read Ron Chernow’s book and it inspired Sadie to read a Biography and write an essay about Hamilton.

I’ve attempted to get tickets in New York but wasn’t able to find any under $600 on the weeks I’ve happened to be there. So when I heard Hamilton was coming to Charlotte, I knew I had to try and get tickets. Which brings me to the crazy thing I did last week.

When the official ticket sales information was released about 5 days ahead of the sales, I started researching the best strategy. I knew from reading about ticket sales in other cities that there would probably be online sales and in-person sales. After thinking it through, I decided to take the in-person route, even though it would mean getting up at a ridiculous hour and standing in line (possibly in the rain). After all, I could always use my phone to try and get tickets online as a backup plan.

I was too excited to sleep, so I probably didn’t fall asleep until 12:30 a.m. and I woke up at 3:00 completely wired. There was no way I was gling back to sleep, so around 4:00, I threw on my rain boots and raincoat and headed to Charlotte. When I arrived around 4:30 a.m., there were probably about 50-75 people in line already.

I was excited because I knew I was early enough to definitely get a wristband. According to the directions that were sent out about in-person sales, wristbands would be given out from 5:30 am to 7:00 am— or until they ran out.

The line quickly grew!

At 7:30, they would begin calling random groups of people who would have an opportunity to buy tickets. This meant that the person who arrived at 3 am had a chance that was equal to the person who arrived at 6:55 am. I would estimate that around 1000-1100 people got wristbands. If your number was called, you’d have an opportunity to buy up to 4 tickets to see Hamilton.

I hoped that 568 would be a lucky number… but just in case, I made sure I was in the virtual waiting room before 8 am so I could get a random spot in the queue to buy tickets online.

I have to say, the coolest thing about this experience was seeing the mix of people there to buy tickets. There were people of all ages and races. It’s so awesome to think that a Broadway show has such a broad reach. It gives me hope for humanity.

At 7:30, they began calling numbers. Everyone gathered around to hear who would be the lucky group to go first.

It wasn’t my number.

Neither was the next group…

or the next…

or the next…

or the next.

After only 5-6 groups (of 60 people each) were called, they made the sad announcement that they would not be selling any more tickets at the box office. It felt like I got punched in the stomach. Never did I think they would sell less than 2,000 tickets in person, of the 40,000 available tickets.

Oh, and online? I was number 54,429 in the queue.

That was a sad drive home… especially calling Sadie to tell her that I wasn’t able to get us tickets. She took it much better than I did. She said, “That’s okay, we’ll see it someday.” And she’s right. We will see it someday. I’ll still troll the website regularly (just in case) and also enter the daily lottery. And we’ll try again for the Greenville tickets in a couple of months, because that’s fairly close to us. (And next time I’ll just use every device we have and hope one of them gets a lower number in the queue. Because 54,000th in line? That’s just depressing.)

So I’m sure you’re wondering, what’s the point of all of this? Why write this long blog post about something that I didn’t evem get? I guess the point is, sometimes things are just out of your control. Sometimes you have to be a good sport because you have to show your kid how to be a good sport— although in this case it was the other way around. For whatever reason, it wasn’t our lucky day, and it’ll be ok.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who got tickets, YAY! I’m sure you’re going to see something amazing and I can’t wait to hear all about it. I’d recommend listening to the music ahead of time because it’s so smart and creative, there’s no way you could take it all in during the show. (Plus, I always love being able to sing along during a musical!)

And if you get sick on the night of your show… or you unexpectedly have to go away for business and you can’t use your know who to call.


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