'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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37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.

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We all knew Scorpion was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

1. "Don't tell me how knew it would be like this all along" — Emotionless

Definitely a "I'm too good" for you vibe.

2. "My mentions are jokes, but they never give me the facts" — Talk Up

This one's for my haters.

3. "I wanna thank God for workin' way harder than Satan" — Elevate

For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

In Drake's story about his son the world knows about now, we get a lyric of true love and dedication

5. "My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions" — Survival

6. "Pinky ring 'til I get a wedding ring" — Nonstop

7. "I gotta breathe in real deep when I catch an attitude" — 8 Out of 10

This first line of the song is about to be spread on the gram like a wildfire

8. "Heard all of the talkin', now it's quiet, now it's shush" — Mob Ties

9. "California girls sweeter than pieces of candy" — Sandra's Rose

This is gonna have every girl who has ever stayed in Cali all hot and heavy, watch it.

10. "I think you're changing your mind, starting to see it in your eyes" — Summer Games

Y'all know how these summer games go

11. "Look the new me is really still the real me" — In My Feelings

When you've got to profess that you've changed 200%

12. "Only beggin' that I do is me beggin' your pardon" — Is There More

13. "Shifted your focus, lens lookin' jaded" — Jaded

14. "Back and forth to Italy, my comment section killin' me" — Can't Take a Joke

Necessary for when you've got people hyping you up already

15. "People are only as tough as they phone allows them to be" — Peak

Y'all can't have this one, I'm stealing it

16. "Work all winter, shine all summer" — That's How You Feel

Put in the work so you can flex on 'em, summer 18

17. "Blue faces, I got blue diamonds, blue tint, yeah" — Blue Tint


18. "I stay busy workin' on me" — Elevate

19. "Ten of us, we movin' as one" — Talk Up

The perfect reason to get the largest group picture you've had on your gram

20. "October baby for irony sake, of course" — March 14

This statistically applies to 1/12 of y'all reading this, so take that as you will (we October babies are the best)

21. "She had an attitude in the summer but now she nice again" — Blue Tint

22. "I know you special girl 'cause I know too many" — In My Feelings


23. "Gotta hit the club like you hit them, hit them, hit them angles" — Nice for What

24. "She said 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly,' I only love my ____ and my ____ I'm sorry" — God's Plan

If you haven't used this one yet, get to it

25. "But I'm blessed I just checked, hate me never met me in the flesh" — I'm Upset

26. "It's only good in my city because I said so" — 8 Out of 10

Follow this up with a location and shoutout your hometown

27. "My haters either on they way to work or they arrived" — Can't Take a Joke

28. "I always need a glass of wine by sundown" — Final Fantasy

Has Drake ever been more relatable?

29. "It's your f***in' birthday. Happy birthday" — Ratchet Happy Birthday

Let's go get kicked out of an Applebee's

30. "I move through London with the Eurostep" — Nonstop


31. "I stopped askin' myself and I started feelin' myself" — Survival

Mood all summer 18

32. "They keep tryna' get me for my soul" — I'm Upset

33. "I'm tryna see who's there on the other end of the shade" — Emotionless

34. "Only obligation is to tell it straight" — Elevate

35. "It don't matter to me what you say" — Don't Matter to Me


This line from the King of Pop (MJ) will give you chills. R.I.P.

36. "I'm the chosen one, flowers never pick themselves" — Sandra's Rose

37. "Say you'll never ever leave from beside me" — In My Feelings

Couple goals, amirite?

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi / Instagram

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Harry Styles' Bandmates May Have Gone In Different Directions, But He Is Still 'Perfect'

Ultimately, my One Direction heart was soaring.

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There comes a feeling when everything in the world just feels right and absolutely nothing else could ever feel wrong. There's no way of knowing when or how that moment may be, or what causes it, but everything just feels perfect.

I think I've come to the conclusion, that for me, most concerts are that feeling.

The ability to stand in one room, big or small, and share the same connecting feeling of love and appreciation for the artist or artists on stage is undeniable.

I feel lucky to have the ability to go to as many concerts as I do. I cherish them and I lavish in those feelings and yes, I do feel absolutely lucky.

Recently, I had the experience to go to Harry Styles concert while he was in Seattle. Ultimately, my 13-year-old One Direction obsessed heart was soaring. But above all of that, I was touched, impressed, and completely blown away with the show.

I've been a fan of Harry's for years; I've seen the shows he's put on; I've seen the way he performs on stage; but nothing lives up to the moment of seeing an artist that you admire, live. Nothing will ever compare to that feeling of total awe and total bliss for those couple hours.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's easy to see after my other concert reviews how much music means to me.

I thought I would do something a little different this time. Instead of doing a basic album review (as much as I desire to, I want to change it up!), I thought I would do a full, complete concert review of my two hours spent singing along with Harry Styles.

Bear with me here, this concert felt like one of the most special moments I've had in life because of who Harry is and the people I was with that day.

Everything that Harry promotes about his shows all revolves around treating people with kindness. He sells it on shirts, on sweatshirts, on water bottles, on hair ties, there's honestly probably more that I'm forgetting right now. Harry has a way of making each and every one of his shows feel special and appreciated all on its own.

The US tour has now come to a sad end. After One Direction announced their hiatus in 2015, Harry embarked on his solo tour and journey towards writing and creating his own album. After two years of silence, Harry released his own album in May 2017.

Since then, Harry has gone on basically two tours. The first tour, which was advertised as an intimate tour, ran from September 2017, to early December. Within the midst of all that, Harry announced he was going on a full World Tour starting in Europe, in March 2018, only to end in California mid-June.

Harry has this little special gift at making every person in the giant room that is either an amphitheater or a stadium feel absolutely welcome to who they are and what they believe in. Over the years and through the releasing of songs, Harry has grown to become so comfortable with who he is, and it is absolutely addicting to watch.

Harry thrives off the knowing facts that his fans are loved and his fans are loving his shows. He is there to perform, and perform he does.

Harry has grown and been in the spotlight for, what seems to be, the majority of his life now. He's gone through those "punk kid" phase where everyone thought he would fizzle out after releasing only pop radio played music, but he has ultimately defied the whole stigma.

If anything, his album is worth a listen to. If you can (heaven forbid I ask this) bear to listen to a One Direction album, then listen to Harry Styles album (even two or three songs) you will see the substantial growth and leap of faith he has taken.

If you watch videos from his first concert and compare them to videos of him at his last concert, his confidence in himself and his abilities have absolutely skyrocketed. To me, that is unbelievable because it's something I didn't even know could be improved upon until it happened.

To anybody with some common sense, music has always been one of the key things that have and can bring everybody together no matter the circumstances.

Music has the ability to bring together total strangers for that small amount of time and feel like they all belong.

Throughout the two lucky hours I got to spend basking in the presence and persona of Harry Styles, I can say that I am no stick short of impressed. I am blown away and also not at all surprised by the feelings of euphoria he hits and the touches of absolute love he gives off.

I am lucky to be who I am and to stand where I stand when it comes to him and his music. Of course, I must respect the fact that he is not for everyone. But as I always say, music is always worth a shot if you let yourself try to like it.

Harry Styles is one to watch. He gives off a performance of his life each and every night and he is so impressed with what he does. If you need a moment of love, appreciation, and feeling of belonging, he is the way to go. He's always there.

Cover Image Credit:

Kiahna White-Alcain

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