Would it be an exaggeration to say that there was my life pre-Hamilton, and my life post-Hamilton? It’s hard to put into words how much I loved this musical. I purposely avoided the soundtrack so that the show would be a surprise to me (except the ending obviously!). and I’m so glad I did. From the choreography to the sets to the phenomenal cast, Hamilton lives up to the hype. Having said all of that, I did learn a few things that I wished I had known before attending Hamilton.
Here are my 5 tips to enhance your Hamilton experience:
I realize most people won’t have lot of choices while booking their seats, but there isn’t much legroom in the Richard Rodgers Theatre. If you’re over 5’10” I strongly recommend choosing an aisle seat. I’m only 5’9″ and my legs were up against the seat in front of me. As for seat location, the sound quality is excellent in the theater, which meant the pit orchestra didn’t drown out the singing even for those in the mezzanine. I can’t vouch for the orchestra section, but my seat in row F of the mezzanine had great sight lines and I didn’t see any seats where there would be major obstructions. Sidenote- Several people have asked how I got tickets: I was just lucky enough to open up my inbox at the exact moment a Hamilton email newsletter announced a release of tickets. If you’re not on their email list yet, sign up on the official Hamilton Musical website.
For the 8pm evening performances, aim to have a reservation in the theater district around 5:30 or 6pm (6:15 at the absolute latest). We chose Becco, an Italian restaurant located a short 5 minute walk from the Richard Rodgers. Becco offers a daily all-you-can-eat pasta special for $24.95: basically there are 3 pasta choices available each day, and the waiters will come around and fill up your plate as much as you want. Sort of like Fogo de Chao but for pasta! It was delicious and the waiters will be as fast as you want them to be, but definitely make a reservation because it gets crowded. Other well regarded restaurants in the theater district include Scarlatto, Danji, and db Modern .
When you arrive at the theater there will likely be a line of people outside who already have tickets. Simply get in the line and take lots of selfies while waiting for the doors to open. I recall doors opening around 7:35ish for an 8pm performance (aprox. 25 minutes prior to showtime), which seems a little on the late side compared to other Broadway shows. We arrived around 7:30 and were inside the theater by 7:45. There doesn’t seem to be a reason to arrive an hour early, but on the other hand I recommend getting in line no later than 7:30 because…
4. Taking care of business
The bathroom lines are long before the show!! If you’ve got to go, do that before anything else. The ladies’ room is located in the basement, and the men’s room is on the ground floor. The merchandise cashier told me the bathroom lines at intermission get very long and most people won’t get through the line- she recommended going before the show. Especially if you have seats in the mezzanine, go beforehand!! Note- there is a wheelchair accessible bathroom on the ground floor, strictly for guests with disabilities. See more about accessibility on the Richard Rodgers’ website here.
5. Drinks & Merch
There are bars and merchandise stands on both main and mezzanine levels of the Richard Rodgers Theater. All wine and cocktails are poured into adorable souvenir sippy cups, but they are very expensive (a bottle of water was $5 ). It is possible to pre-order drinks for intermission which will help you avoid the lines. If you arrive really early before the show, there is a merchandise store located across the street from the theater. The hours vary but just know that it will likely be closed after the show.
That’s it! Just 5 quick things to know before seeing Hamilton. I hope you enjoy the show as much as I did, “don’t wait for it” go ahead and “take your shot!”
For those who saw Hamilton, what did you think??? If you haven’t yet, are you hoping to get tickets?