'Hamilton' In The Wake Of Sending Off Its Leads Is A Force Of Nature

'Hamilton' In The Wake Of Sending Off Its Leads Is A Force Of Nature

A complete company of understudies and swings has taken 'Hamilton' in a completely new direction.
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As of 8 o'clock last night, I had spent a total of about 35 hours outside the Richard Rodgers Theatre since I got home from Rome: 11 in various lottery and Ham4Ham lines throughout Lin Manuel Miranda's final weeks, and 24 in the cancelation line on two separate days in what I hoped would be a final successful attempt at getting tickets.

When my sister and I first tried the cancelation line it was in the first stages of morphing into an event only for those who were truly desperate. Like the other cancelation lines on Broadway, it is meant as a means of getting tickets the day of a show, either from people who actually cancelled their tickets or from the theatre's supply of perfectly placed seats saved for last minute VIPs. On most nights, the average was between five and fifteen, sometimes twenty. The number had begun to linger closer to the former since the show's creator, Lin Manuel Miranda, announced he was leaving. People had begun sleeping outside the theater earlier in the week we decided to try the line, when Leslie Odom Jr. and Phillipa Soo announced they would be leaving the show with Lin on July 9th. Still, I had heard that if we were able to get to the theatre before 6 a.m., especially on a two show day, you had a chance of being one of those tickets. My sister and I arrived at the theater at 6:15 a.m. and found 45 people ahead of us in a line that stretched to the stage door of the Imperial Theatre next door. Needless to say, we did not make it into the theatre that night.

In the following weeks, the line stretched into a four day wait. People slept on the sidewalk, fights broke out from disagreements over places in line, and the theatre staff began to lose control of the crowds. Yet, in the three days after Lin, Leslie, and Phillipa left, I watched the line shorten from a four day wait to barely one. I passed the line on a Tuesday morning and found just two girls outside, waiting for the 7 p.m. show. It was still an eight-hour wait, but considering I had spent 14 hours there just a few weeks before was baffling to me.

So we tried again. We got to the theatre on Friday at 10 a.m. and found just five girls ahead of us. Ten hours later, my sister and I saw Hamilton. Our tickets were released at 7:57 p.m., three minutes before showtime. Our seats were eighth row, center orchestra. AKA seats that are currently selling for over $1100 on Ticketmaster right now, and we got them for less than $200.

Obviously, the show blew me away completely, but I don't need to tell you how phenomenal it was. I will say that it somehow manages to exceed the high expectations and the extreme hype surrounding it, that the way the songs flow from one to the next to the next, each with such extreme energy from the lighting design to the ensemble and choreography that it's a completely unique experience, but it's all been said at this point. What is most important to know right now is that the show still absolutely shines without its original Hamilton, Burr, Eliza, and Lafayette, and it will continue to after every member of that original cast leaves. Phillipa Soo's replacement, Lexi Lawson, and the original Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, Oak Onaodowan, were out that night, meaning the majority of the cast we saw was made up of understudies and standbys.

As I watched the show unfold, I realized that, as it is now in the months before its roles are recast, it functions as a love letter to its ensemble, its swings and alternates, its understudies and standbys, almost like its own version of 'A Chorus Line.' Alysha Deslorieux's Eliza was impossibly sweet and heartbreaking, Austin Smith's Burr intense yet undeniably tired, Ephraim Sykes' Hercules Mulligan/James Madison each so well crafted it was easy to forget they were played by the same person, and Seth Stewarts Lafayette/Jefferson, especially his Jefferson, endless fun. Javier Muñoz, previously Lin's alternate, as Hamilton is completely captivating, endearing from the start but able to relay Hamilton's reckless, verging on dangerous ambition and hunger in a moment's look or posture.

Of course, those still doing the show from the original cast were phenomenal. Chris Jackson, Renee Elise Goldsberg, Anthony Ramos, and Jasmine Cephas Jones and much of the ensemble have been there since the beginning and left the audience more than a bit starstruck, but the understudies, many of them normally ensemble members, owned the spotlight. I can't imagine 'Hamilton' has suffered at all since its original leads left, and if it has, the show and its cast have still proven it is perfectly capable of continuing to astound its audiences in their absence. And yet, the fact that the current cast is completely underestimated is clear in the very fact that I was able to get into that theatre, in the fact that the cancelation line didn't even begin to really grow until after noon and hasn't been any longer since July 9th. Though the show is going on tour and settling in Chicago and Los Angeles soon, the unique experience of seeing an entire cast of understudies owning the biggest show on Broadway is worth the wait. Considering the entire show is about rising through the ranks and taking your place at the top, it only makes sense that its current leading roles are littered with those who've done just that.

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Things To Do When You're So Bored All You Want To Do Is Cry

Do something artsy

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Everyone has times when they have nothing to do and boredom strikes way too hard. From experience, I have found some top things to do when you literally have nothing else to do!

1. Clean

Not super fun, but will keep you busy.

2. Netflix

Find a new show to binge watch. Watched them all? Rewatch something you haven't seen in a while!

3. Shopping

Retail therapy can always keep you busy.

4. Make a home cooked meal

Spend some time in the kitchen and make something yummy! Even invite some friends.

5. Visit friends/ family

Pop in on some people you care about that you haven't seen in a while!

6. Write

Writing is something we all do and is a great way to express ourselves!

7. Exercise

Hit the gym or go for walk, do something to keep you nice and fit.

8. Volunteer

Go to an animal shelter, food bank, museums, or anywhere in your area that needs help.

9. Look for a job

If you're bored, maybe getting a part time job will keep you a little occupied. Plus it's extra money in your pocket.

10. Draw/ do something artsy

Even if you think you're a bad artist, drawing is something fun to do! You'll get better in time.

11. Join an Odyssey Team!

Writing articles through the Odyssey is an amazing experience and can always keep you busy!

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