Way Too Timely Quotes From Alexander Hamilton on His 213th Death Anniversary

Legacy? What is legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see. Or for some folks, it’s a transparent series of fuck-ups involving collusion, sexual assault, misogyny, racism, and lies that will live on forever in the Fake News. But hey, to each his own, right?

213 years ago today, Alexander Hamilton died after his duel with Aaron Burr. Five years ago, this post would’ve been moo (it’s like a cow’s opinion). But 2017’s hottest founding father is relevant to our interests again, which is why I’m writing this at all. But what’s even more interesting is that the trials, tribulations, and non-stop essays (including all the other 51) Ham & Co. went through all those years ago, is perhaps annoyingly prescient now, thanks to the state of our Union. So, to honor (I guess?) A. Ham and the legacy seeds he left behind, here are a few quotes from the decorated war vet that remind us that even two centuries later, passionate essays written on parchment aren’t exclusive to topics relating to separating from a harmful demagogue.

From Objections and Answers Respecting the Administration , August 1792. A letter in which Ham calls out the nasty folks who alleged that he was working to reinstitute a monarchy in the States.

“The truth unquestionably is, that the only path to a subversion of the republican system of the Country is, by flattering the prejudices of the people, and exciting their jealousies and apprehensions, to throw affairs into confusion, and bring on civil commotion. Tired at length of anarchy, or want of government, they may take shelter in the arms of monarchy for repose and security.

Those then, who resist a confirmation of public order, are the true Artificers of monarchy—not that this is the intention of the generality of them. Yet it would not be difficult to lay the finger upon some of their party who may justly be suspected. When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanour—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may “ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.

A letter from A. Ham to Theodore Sedgwick, Massachusetts Senator & Continental Congress delegate, re: the Election of 1800 between Adams and Jefferson (who we know Ham did not like much)

“For my individual part my mind is made up. I will never more be responsible for him [Adams] by my direct support—even though the consequence should be the election of Jefferson. If we must have an enemy at the head of the Government, let it be one whom we can oppose & for whom we are not responsible, who will not involve our party in the disgrace of his foolish and bad measures. Under Adams as under Jefferson the government will sink. The party in the hands of whose chief it shall sink will sink with it and the advantage will all be on the side of his adversaries.”

Federalist Paper No. 1: 

“… of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.”

Elliot’s Debates

“Unless your government is respectable, foreigners will invade your rights; and to maintain tranquillity you must be respectable; even to observe neutrality you must have a strong government.”

(He was chosen to be part of the) Constitutional Convention, 1787:

All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and well-born, the other the mass of the people. The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and, however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true in fact. The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give, therefore, to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and, as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government. Can a democratic Assembly, who annually revolve in the mass of the people, be supposed steadily to pursue the public good? Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy. Their turbulent and uncontrolling disposition requires checks.

From the New York Ratifying Convention, 1788

“As riches increase and accumulate in few hands . . . the tendency of things will be to depart from the republican standard.”

Federalist Paper No. 10:

“Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people.”

Federalist Paper No. 25:

“It is a truth which the experience of all ages has attested, that the people are always most in danger when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion.”

Federalist Paper No. 70

“Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.”

 

#Ham4All and #All4Ham

Calling all HamFans looking to waste their time on videos of celebs singing Broadway tunes!

This week, our beloved cinnamon roll Lin-Manuel Miranda announced the #Ham4All fundraiser for the Immigrants: We Get The Job Done Coalition, which is made up of 12 partner organizations that work throughout the U.S. to provide services to immigrants, refugees, and asylees. For just $10, you can enter to win a trip to LA as the special guest of Lin’s for the Hamilton premiere in Hollywood! As an added bonus to get the word out, you can post a video of yourself singing a cover of any Hamiltune and then challenge your friends to do the same. Think the ice bucket challenge sans the ice bucket (for the most part).

And just like the ice bucket challenge for ALS, celebrities are getting the word out about the contest on social media to their millions of followers around the world. The viral challenge proved to be a monumental success for the ALS Association after over $115 million was raised through the initiative, so hopefully #Ham4All will find the same traction. In the meantime, let’s enjoy these Ham covers celebs (and Hamfans alike) have graced us in the past week. These are just a few of my faves – what about you??

Lin & Jonathan Groff

THE ROMANCE CONTINUES! Any Hamiltrash member can tell you about the long-standing ship between these men, one that dates way back before they were A.Ham and King George. We’ve been blessed with this Vine/GIF that sent shippers sailing, so any time Lin and Groffsauce are together, the fandom is anticipating the sexual tension to return. And an unexpected return it was. How many times is too many to watch this video? Asking for myself. #ReneeReneeReneeReneeRenee

Taran Killam

Broadway’s King George IV (?) only left the show about a month ago, but apparently hearing Wait For It 8 times a week wasn’t enough to learn all the lyrics.

Ben Schwartz

Because one Lin musical isn’t enough.

Megan Amram

Your favorite Tweeter/Parks & Rec and The Good Place writer shows off her singing skills in the bathroom. Trust there’s a reason for it. Bonus: bloop of her computer falling off the toilet.

Cleve September

London’s Laurens/Philip proves he’s fit for the job with some John Mayer-esque skills.

J. Quinton Johnson

And now for Broadway’s current Mulligan/Madison… serving character in each Brady Bunch box.

James M. Igleheart, Nick Walker, Jevon McFerrin

A swing, Lafyette/Jef and an ensemble member gather for #Ham4All. The current cast is like Boyz II Men.

Kelly McCreary

The Grey’s Anatomy star recruited v special guest for her #Ham4All challenge too. We need to get friends who are in Hamilton.

Phillipa Soo

The OBC got into the spirit too! Pippa (who was challenged by her fiance Steven Pasquale) returns to her roots – by channelling her former hubby.

Oak Onaodowan

My first boo. My always boo. The incredible OG spy on the inside, Oak.

Utkarsh Ambudkar

Raise your hand if you ever think about Chris Jackson singing One Last Time in front of Barack and Michelle in the White House and cry.

Josh Groban

Per request of Lin-Man himself, Josh and his sweet silky voice took a break from Russia and tapped into a scorned wife of a founding father.

Evan Rachel Wood

Had no idea she could belt like this!

Cynthia Erivo

I just need Cynthia to sing me to sleep every night. Although it might be difficult because I cry every time I hear her sing (which wouldn’t be too far off from my nightly routine).

Tatiana Maslany

I just feel like we would be best friends with Tat, is the thing.

PS22 Chorus

And so it continues, the paradox that is the PS22 Chorus and how every year the new batch of kids is amazing and makes me cry.

Kristen Bell

I guess the rule is: If you sing Dear Theodosia, I WILL cry.

America Ferrera

Petition to have America play the first A.Ham. Thanks in advance.

Jaime Camil

#Brogelios4Ham

Ed Helms

Rit-dit-doo-doo-doo, Ed Helms and his banjo strike again!

Jesse Tyler Ferguson

You know, I really felt like Alexander Hamilton was giving a monologue right in front of me.

Ingrid Michaelson

Ingrid/new Broadway star is the master of these a cappella videos (have you SEEN her OG one from last year?!), so it’s no surprise she killed this too.

Mae Whitman (ft. Lauren Graham)

I. Am. Shooketh. Playing this on loop. I AM STARTING #MAE4HAM RIGHT NOW. ALSO #LAUREN4HAM. OR JUST LIKE, STAR IN A MUSICAL TOGETHER, WHATEVER, MAN.

Bonus Vids: Orange is the New Black & Jane the Virgin star Diane Guerrero, her other Jane co-star Yael GroblasOBC Hamilcast member Carleigh Bettiol,  Paul of Paul & Storm giving the most anticipated entrance, This nugget singing Dear Theodosia, basically every Dear Theodosia cover will kill me, Cast of One Day at a Time (including Rita Moreno!), Ben Stiller and his fab daughter, #HamInASL, Adorable Ian Chen from Fresh Off The Boat is ready to be KGIII in 10 years!

The Highs and Lows of the 2017 Tony Awards

Another opening, another show. Another chance to joke about the Oscars mix-up.

The 2017 Tony Awards, our annual Super Bowl, were last night and proved to be a journey of excitement and disappointment all at the same time. While I don’t think anything will beat the excitement from last year’s #HamilTonys, this ceremony did have its good bits, but for every good bit there was a bad Kevin Spacey one. Here are some of our highs and lows from this year’s Tony Awards.

Lows: The Opening Number

I know Kevin Spacey is a respected actor/human etc. etc. but…. I was just not left that impressed with his Groundhog Day-inspired montage, highlighting all the nominated shows (although 10 points for Griffyndor for the tap dance break). Is it because we’ve been blessed with James Corden and Neil Patrick Harris in the past few years? Yeah, probably. I just expect to be left in tears by the end of the opening number. I don’t want it to end with a pun including “Your host is found”, no matter how many Dear Evan Hansen refs I long for.

High: It’s Been A Long Time Coming For Gavin Creel

Longtime Broadway and stage star Gavin Creel FINALLY won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for Hello, Dolly! He was previously nominated for Hair and Thoroughly Modern Millie (which made his win even more special because Sutton Foster handed him his trophy) but he’s one of those actors that has been around for so long (he’s only 41) that he’s got a strong fan base (and support from fellow actors) even without the Tony. I saw him in the national tour of The Book of Mormon a few years ago and couldn’t stop raving about him. Did you watch him last year in She Loves Me? Come on. His speech was perfect and awkward (1:45 THAT IS ME) and admirable (SUPPORT ARTS EDUCATION!). I love when well-deserving actors who’ve been in it a while finally get recognition. Also goes for Dear Evan Hansen’s Rachel Bay Jones!

High: Performances to Give You The Chills

The Tonys are the only major award show that is site specific. You can easily go to your local cinema and watch an Oscar-nominated film. Turn on the TV and tune-in to an Emmy-nominated show. Pop in a cassette tape and listen to a Grammy-nominated album. But with the Tonys, you have to physically be in New York City to see these Broadway shows. So when the casts take the stage to perform, they’re performing for everyone around the world watching the show, who can’t necessarily get to the Big Apple. It gives a visual to fans who have only listened to the soundtrack, or maybe have never even heard the show at all. Which is why I always look forward to the actors getting a chance to show their talents off for the millions watching at home. Some standout performances this year were legend-in-the-making Eva Noblezada and the cast of Miss Saigon, Josh Groban and the cast of  The Great Comet throwing the best Russian party, and cast of Bandstand, making me want to take swing dance classes.

Low: Random Celebs

Former pro hockey player and Canadian Ron Duguay was the first rando to introduce the performance by the cast of Come From Away, because it takes place in New Foundland. And he is Canadian, you see. It makes sense. I was also confused because it kinda sounded like he went off script, and winged the intro… but what do I know, I’m American. And for some reason, Keegan Michael Key introduced the Great Comet cast, and I’m still trying to figure that one out. I love the guy but, if anyone has any insight, that would be supes helpful.

High: Playwrights in the Spotlight

As I previously mentioned, the Tonys are a chance for casts to give viewers a small sliver of what they do 8 times a week. But what about all the plays? It’s hard to just recreate a scene from a play just to show that they’re nominated for Best Play/Best Revival of a play. But this year, they did it right (or wright?) and had the playwrights take the stage and describe the show they wrote in their own words. More of this please.

High: Rachel Bloom, Future Tonys Host

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star and renowned Broadway geek Rachel Bloom served as a backstage correspondent and to quote someone on Twitter, “Rachel Bloom is actually hosting this year’s Tonys, briefly interrupted by a man doing dated impressions.” Rachel was basically representing all of us nerds watching at home, with no chill for how exciting it is to be at the Tonys. Please host next year. CW is in the CBS brotherhood.

High: Oh, Hello!

This particular part of the show was quite the rollercoaster. First, the Oh Hello dudes came on stage to bring some actual humor to the show. If you watched John Mulaney and Nick Kroll host the Independent Spirit Awards earlier this year, you already know how hilarious and entertaining they are as a co-hosting duo. So when they came on stage to introduce the Radio City Rockettes, it brought the show back up, and quite frankly much better than Kevin Spacey’s opening number ever was.

Low: Rockettes

Andddd then the Rockettes did a few high kicks – like I get it, they’re at Radio City – but why. Why? Oh, because it gave Leslie and Cynthia a reason to sing.

High: Leslie Odom Jr. & Cynthia Erivo Saving the Rockettes

Except it lasted approx 1 minute, which was way too short. They could’ve stayed on stage and sang all the winners and it would’ve been totally fine. Get these two in a show or on tour together, SOMETHING. I WILL GIVE YOU MY MONIES.

High: Dr. Biden and Joe

Dr. Jill Biden was on hand to introduce a performance by the cast of Bandstand, which centers on a group of veterans coming home after World War II. With Dr. Biden’s long support of the military and their family, it was a no-brainer that she was there. But what I loved is that she got a standing ovation, clearly in appreciation for her service, as well as the service of her hubs and the entire Obama administration, and it made me long for the days of pre-Election 2016 Tonys. But the best part? Seeing Uncle Joe in the audience proudly watching his wife on stage, just as her date and nothing else. God bless.

Low: Kevin Spacey’s Impressions

If you didn’t know that Kevin Spacey does a real good impression of Johnny Carson, well know you know (if you watched the Tonys). And because he needed material, of course he pulled out the wig, since a Carson impression is relevant to the interests of all the people watching the Tonys. It was then that I texted Molly and mentioned that Carson is one of the party tricks Spacey’s got in his bag, and as you’ll see in the message below, I totally called the next impression.

During his Clinton impression, he called out Ben Platt and made a few Hillary jokes because THAT’S STILL FUNNY. Us, and most of the people watching the bit:

And because third time’s the charm, he had to come out as fake U.S. President Frank Underwood (along with Robin Wright & Michael Kelly, for some reason – the bit didn’t need them tbh it still sucked) to hand LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA THE ENVELOPE FOR THE WINNER OF BEST MUSICAL. We had already been Lin-less for the entire show, I didn’t need Spacey to ruin this too. But alas, he did.

High: Bette Midler Refuses To Be Played Off

The Divine Miss M won her first Tony (she’s an O away from EGOT) for Hello, Dolly! and because she’s Bette Midler, she didn’t give a crap about playoff music. There are few people in the world that can get away with telling an orchestra to stop, and she is one of them. It was everything I expected and more.

Sidenote: The Tony producers are S A V A G E for getting Glenn Close to present the category, since there was a possibility that Patti LuPone (rumored rival) could’ve won. It might have been an epic face-to-face that us drama-loving nerds died over.

High: Words Fail for Dear Evan Hansen

Dear reader, it’s gonna be a good day, and this is why – Dear Evan Hansen won six Tonys and all is right with the world.

First off, the production went into the ceremony with 9 noms – 3 less than top show Great Comet, making me think DEH could be beat out by Josh Groban. But the show all about social anxiety and connection clearly connected with Tony voters, and won not only Best Musical, but Best Book of a Musical, Best Score (by our boys and La La Land’s Pasek & Paul), Best Orchestrations (BACK TO BACK WINS FOR HAMFAM ALEX LACAMOIRE), and acting prizes for Rachel Bay Jones (MOM) and dreamy angel of an actor Ben Platt. He was the favorite going into the show, but seeing this 23 year old win and give his speech was everything I wanted in a Tonys acceptance speech, including an inspiring quote that teens will be inking on folders today – “To all young people watching at home, don’t waste time being anyone but yourself, because the things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful.”

And thennn earlier in the show, Ben, who was out of DEH for a few performances and put on vocal rest – made a triumphant return by singing signature song Waving Through a Window.

If you don’t have your tickets now, guess you’ll be waiting along with us until the tour (or when more Broadway seats become avail) and playing the soundtrack on repeat.

Low: Go Home Bobby Darin

Does Kevin Spacey think hosting the Tonys is going to help his Emmy For Your Consideration campaign? I feel like he treated the entire ceremony like a talent show. Between the impressions (did I mention he also did James Earl Jones in front of James Earl Jones – who won a lifetime achievement award? AND MORE AIR TIME WAS GIVEN TO SPACEY RATHER THAN JAMES EARL JONES??), mediocre bits and underwhelming opening number, it was all just a bit… trying too hard that it made me not like Kevin Spacey. And I LIKE Kevin Spacey!

But the thing that sealed the deal for me was the closing number, in which Kevin returned to his Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of 1950s singer Bobby Darin and invited Patti LuPone and all the winners to sing The Curtain Falls – a ballad, a FRIGGIN BALLAD. I don’t want to end Broadway’s biggest night with a ballad! Give me an uptempo! Give me a rap that was written minutes before by Lin-Manuel and included things that happened in the show! This isn’t a funeral. This is a celebration of all things theater!!!! In what I’m assuming was meant to be a lovely, community inspiring final song, it just came across as awkward since no one knew the song or even knew what was happening.

Spacey hosting proved that a host steers the ship to success. If he fails, then it kind of brings the entire show down. Sure, there were bright spots like Dear Evan Hansen and Bette Midler. But the best well-rounded award shows included hilarious and fun bits from the host – WE MISS YOU JAMES CORDEN – not just chuckle-worthy jokes and impressions you’ve been doing for years. Give me dance numbers, give me more singing, give me DRAMAAAAA – it IS gay pride month after all. Something Kevin probably should know about, right?

 

Who To Root For At The Tonys In A Post-Hamilton World

Congrats everyone who decided to enter the Tonys this season and not last season – Hamilton will not be dominating the awards this year. But will another show take its place instead?

The 71st Annual Tony Awards nominations were announced yesterday, and coming out on top was Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 with 12 nominations. For those of you reading this that may not be Broadway fans per se, but more of a “Hamilton changed the way I look at musical theater” type of person, I’m guess you’re less likely to watch the Tonys this year because Ham won’t be as featured as it was in 2016. But let me tell you, there are still plenty of fantastic shows that are worthy of your support, both on Tonys day and in the theater year round. Here are just some of our top picks for who to root for, and who’ll dominate come June 11th.

Dear Evan Hansen

9 nominations, including Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Ben Platt), Best Score (Oscar winners Benj Pasek & Justin Paul)

What it’s all about: “All his life, Evan Hansen has felt invisible. But when a tragic event shocks the community and thrusts him into the center of a rapidly evolving controversy, Evan is given the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to be somebody else.” {x}

Starring: Ben Platt, Laura Dreyfuss, Rachel Bay Jones

Why: Let’s just say it’s the Hamilton of 2017. Dear Evan Hansen has been winning acclaim ever since it premiered in D.C. back in 2015. When it was Off-Broadway, the show won five various awards, including an Obie for its star Ben Platt. Just for a second – we need to talk about TONY NOMINATED Ben Platt. The Pitch Perfect star may just be adding some hardware to his name come June because this is a freaking breakout role for him. If you haven’t yet, listen to the soundtrack, or at least listen to For Forever, which legit gave me goosebumps and made me cry in its 5 minute span. Another actor to look out for is Tony nominee Rachel Bay Jones, who plays Evan’s mom, a woman who just doesn’t know how to connect with her son. Her emotions pour out on So Big/So Small, and if you get to this point in the soundtrack/show without crying, this track will be the breaking point.

Speaking of which, the soundtrack debuted at number 8 on the Billboard chart, which is the highest debut by a cast recording since 1961. Hamilton didn’t even do that! It’s also worth noting that a number of notable Ham creatives are also behind DEH, including Alex Lacamoire (Music orchestrations and arrangements), David Korins (Scenic design) and Nevin Steinberg (Sound design). The first two also got nominated, but not Nevin because the Drama League is dumb and the category was taken out a couple years ago (but is being reinstated next year!). 

Come From Away

7 nominations, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score

What it’s all about: “Following the 9/11 attacks, 38 planes and 6,579 passengers were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, doubling the population of one small town on the edge of the world. Based on interviews with locals, Come From Away is about how hosting this international community of strangers spurred unexpected camaraderie in extraordinary circumstances.” {x}

Starring: Jenn Colella, Rodney Hicks, Kendra Kessebaum

Why: Making a 9/11 musical is toeing a fine line between tacky and offensive and honorable. But Come From Away has gotten positive reviews that lean towards the latter, and in fact suggest that this story is what needs to be told in this shitshow of horrific times. Peter Marks of The Washington Post even noted Come From Away “an antidote for what ails the American soul.” And while the actors may not be household names, the ensemble is a mix of both veterans and newbies, who are all worthy of a Tony, including Jenn Colella, who is up for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.

Miss Saigon

2 nominations, Best REvival of a Musica, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

What it’s all about: “Set in 1975 during the final days of the of the Vietnam War, Miss Saigon is an epic love story about the relationship between Chris, an American GI and Kim, a young Vietnamese woman. They are separated when the country falls, until she returns to his life years later, in this musical inspired by the opera Madame Butterfly.” {x}

Starring: Eva Noblezada, Alistair Brammer, Jon Jon Briones, Rachelle Ann Go

Why: This 25th anniversary production earned rave reviews when it opened in London in 2014, and finally three years later, it has made its way across the pond with most of its original revival cast, including Eva Noblezada, who plays the lead of Kim and earned her very first Tony nom yesterday. It’s no easy feat playing a role that Filipino royalty Lea Salonga originated, but 21-year-old Eva made the role her own and is set to become a star much like Lea did years ago. In fact, like Lea was discovered at just 18 (this video will never get old), Eva was 17 when she performed at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, and a casting director pegged her to play Kim for the London revival. The rest is history. But it shouldn’t be a surprise – here’s a vid of Eva at 14 giving Sutton Foster a run for her money .

War Paint

4 nominations, including Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Patti LuPone & Christine Ebersole)

What it’s all about: “Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden defined beauty standards for the first half of the 20th Century. Brilliant innovators with humble roots, both were masters of self-invention who sacrificed everything to become the country’s first major female entrepreneurs. They were also fierce competitors, whose 50-year tug-of-war would give birth to an industry. From Fifth Avenue society to the halls of Congress, their remarkable rivalry was ruthless, relentless and legendary—pushing both women to build international empires in a world dominated by men.” {x}

Starring: Patti LuPone, Christine Ebersole

Why: Um, Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole? Diva-off. 

Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

12 nominations, including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Direction 

What it’s all about: “Natasha is a beautiful ingénue visiting Moscow while she waits for her beloved fiancé Andrey to return from the war. In a moment of indiscretion, she is seduced by the dashing (but already married) Anatole and her position in society is ruined. Her only hope lies with Pierre, the lonely outsider whose love and compassion for Natasha may be the key to her redemption… and to the renewal of his own soul.” {x}

Starring: Denee Benton, Josh Groban

Why: I’ve heard nothing but great things about this show, and every clips I see makes me want to see it even more. The intimate setting, the creative blocking, the overall fanciful atmosphere might give it the edge over Dear Evan Hansen, which has long been considered a front runner for months.  Also worth noting – both its stars Denee and Josh Groban made their Broadway debuts with Natasha, and they’re both nominated for their first Tony awards. The girl from UnReal and Ally McBeal star Josh Groban could be Tony winners, y’all. 

Hello, Dolly!

10 nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actors (Bette Miller, David Hyde Pierce, Gavin Creel, Kate Baldwin)

What it’s all about: “A meddlesome matchmaker brings together the young clerk of a wealthy Yonkers merchant and his assistant with a widowed milliner and her assistant, while making sure she herself gets to marry the merchant, in Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart’s musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker.” {x}

Starring: Bette Midler, David Hyde Pierce, Gavin Creel

Why: We are bad musical theater nerds. Molly only saw the movie of Hello, Dolly for the first time recently, while I have seen neither stage musical nor movie. What I do know is that other more well-educated theater nerds have been v excited for this revival, mainly because of the return of Bette herself to the Broad-way. An established show with revered actors is bound to get some love from the Tonys, and with 10 noms it’s clear someone’s gonna go home with that trophy. 

Falsettos

5 nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actors (Christian Boyle, Andrew Rannells, Brandon Uranowitz, Stephanie J. Block)

What it’s all about: William Finn and James Lapine’s musical combines their Off-Broadway works The March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, which tell the story of a gay man named Marvin, his lover Whizzer, Marvin’s wife Trina and their extended family from the early ‘80s through the early days of the AIDS crisis.

Starring: Christian Borle, Andrew Rannells, Stephanie J. Block, Brandon Uranowitz, Tracie Thoms

Why: The OG version of this show premiered nearly 25 years ago, but its themes of gay relationships and the AIDS crisis are still hot topics of conversation today. In addition to the fact the story itself is so relevant, the stellar cast tells the Falsettos tale in a whole new way, and it’s definitely one to watch out for on Tonys night.

Kevin Spacey

2 nominations, 1 win

What it’s all about: Kevin Spacey is hosting the Tonys for the first time. Kevin Spacey! It seemed like kind of a random choice but I’m here for it! #MaybeHeWillAdmitHisLoveForTheaterGoesBeyondJustTheToeTappingMusical

Best ___ Of 2016: Some Really Specific Superlatives

Well folks, here we are. The flaming dumpster fire that was 2016 is over, and we’re all here in 2017 hoping it can’t get worse than last year. But there were some good things that come out of 2016, and just like last year, we’re highlighting a few super specific things we loved from 2016, that don’t necessarily fit into any general Best of categories.

Best 2000s television reunion of 2016: Gilmore Girls

Ironically, Gilmore Girls also made our Best of 2015 Superlatives list, but this time it’s for an entirely different reason. The show made a big splash in pop culture ever since the revival was announced back in 2015, and the hype was at a high this year, crawling back into the zeigesit in the weeks leading up to ThanksGilmore (we were guilty too). But as OG Gilmore fans, we had been waiting nine years to find out how Amy Sherman-Palladino wanted to end her series the way she truly wanted. When the four episodes dropped that fateful Friday, we were transported back into the world of all things Gilmore – where the town weirdo runs a janky Ooober service, the locals have to hide a secret bar from the selectman, and the phrase “I smell snow” elicits very real emotions that induce crying. For us, this feeling of comfort – of feeling back how in Stars Hollow – was what we wanted from the revival. While it did produce the perfect example of Your Fave Is Problematic #RoryGilmore, overall, we were so glad to have those adorable Gilmore girls back in our lives once again.

Best Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Cameo of 2016: Parenthood Cast (as a whole)

Speaking of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, there were many a cameo throughout all four mini-movies that made me squeal with glee. But none more so than three very special appearances from Lauren Graham’s other TV family, the Bravermans. First, we knew her Parenhootd daughter Mae Whitman was going to be in the revival, but seeing her interact with Lorelai Gilmore and not Sarah Braverman made our hearts explode, but the fact that she always interacted with Rory?! Our brains explode too. And then came summer, when I lit’rally screamed out loud after seeing Jason Ritter pop up as the park ranger. MARK CYR FOREVER AND ALWAYS. And THENNN Peter Krause aka Adam Braverman aka Mr. Lauren Graham as park ranger two?! I DIE. I DIED. Thanks, 2016.

Best Ham4Ham performance of 2016: The Hamilton Mixtape

I feel like it’s unfair to call this a #Ham4Ham, but the Hamilton officials called it that, so we’ll go with it. HamFams have been waiting about a year to hear the mixtape that Lin had been promising, and boy it did not disappoint. In the most epic release party, they held a #Ham4Ham inside the Richard Rodgers, with a few artists from the mixtape doing live performances of their Hamilton covers. AND it was live streamed for the interwebs. The Roots, Regina Spektor, Andra Day and Ashanti and Ja Rule + more – it was “LIT AF” as the kids say. I got emotional (like I usually do) watching it, realizing that this joining of forces between contemporary artists singing Broadway covers on a Broadway stage opens the doors for so many more people to be introduced to theater in a brand new way. It’s the way life and art should be – accessible and enjoyed by every one.

Best Hamilton Happy Trails of 2016: July 9th, 2016

Hamilton may have opened in 2015, but it reached a fever pitch in 2016. A month after winning 11 Tonys, four of the OG cast members, Phillipa Soo, Leslie Odom Jr., Ariana DeBose and the maestro himself, Lin-Manuel Miranda, took their final bows. Saying goodbye to one OBC actor is hard enough, but four is even more difficult if you’re HamilTrash. Luckily, a live stream was provided and we were able to watch as their tears synced with our own. The kicker? Alex Lacamoire stealthily adding in The West Wing theme for number one fan Lin (I lit’rally just rewatched that on mute and I’m STILL crying over Chris Jackson pushing Lin back out to take his own bow).

Best Beyonce Live Performance of 2016: MTV VMAs

Beyonce was one of the shining lights of 2016 thanks to her kind of surprise album drop with Lemonade, but what made it epic was the entire HBO movie special she made as a vehicle for the new music. After going on her Formation tour (equally epic), she blessed us with a 20 minute performance of Lemonade on the VMAs. God. Is. Good.

Best Michelle Obama Speech of 2016: Democratic National Convention

We’re really going to miss all the Obamas, but Michelle has been such an inspiration to all women (and humans) during her reign as first lady. She is poised, classy, articulate, smart, compassionate, caring, funny, etc. etc. And while giving her speech at the DNC this summer to show support for HRC, she yet again left us in awe and tears, but mostly left us with something to aspire to – when they go low, we go high.

Best Carpool Karaoke of 2016: Adele

In what is arguably his best carpool karaoke yet, James Corden’s ride along with Adele has raked in over 143 million views since it was released last January, and it’s obvious why. Maybe because I’ve accounted for at least 43 million of those? Nah, probs because Adele is a badd ass bitch who raps Nick Minaj better than Nicki Minaj.

Best Political SNL Sketch of 2016: Hallelujah

The Worst Week of 2016 aka Election Week ended with the great Leonard Cohen dying (because #2016), and in what was reminiscent of the way they handled the first ep back after 9/11, SNL knew exactly how to bring meloncholy and levity to homes across the U.S., by having the wonderful Kate McKinnon, as Hillary Clinton, sing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Cue the tears.

Honorable MentionsMelaniade, Hillary Actually, Voters for Trump, Black Jeopardy with Tom Hanks, A Day Off (KellyAnne Conway)

Best SNL Non-Political Sketch of 2016: Haunted Elevator

Any questions?

Honorable Mentions: Christmas Candle, Crucible Cast Party, Wells for BoysTidal, Supermarket Spree (Cut for Time – ft. host Melissa McCarthy)

Best Mannequin Challenge of 2016: Black Lives Matter

I’m over the mannequin challenge (I was never under it), but this one was worth all the other silliness from everyone else.

Best Obama Girls Moment Of 2016: The Ryan Reynolds Double Thumbs Up

In this moment, I am somehow able to imagine what it would be like to be both a teenager attending my first state dinner and talking with a handsome male movie star, and the big sister of a teenager attending her first state dinner and talking with a handsome male movies star. Meet our era’s Schuyler sisters.

Best Bill Clinton Moment of 2016: Bill and Balloons

Forget what came after for a moment and just focus on Bill Clinton, the man who served as leader of the free world for eight years, still getting a kick out of balloons … and even more of a kick out of his wife’s presidential bid.

Honorable Mention: When you could see Bill mouth the words “that’s my girl” during Hillary’s concession speech, or his death grip on Chelsea’s husband during Chelsea’s speech at the DNC. You know what? They’re all winners.

Best Olympics Moment of 2016: Michael Phelps’ One Last Timerio-olympics-michael-phelps-39d4425bd7852cb5

It feels like so long ago now, but 2016 was a Summer Olympics year, our favorite TV/sporting spectacle and feel-good obsession. Nobody made us prouder to be Americans that golden boy Michael Phelps, who did his last Olympics right by earning his 23rd gold medal.

Honorable Mentions: So many! The Final Five’s overall brilliance – how much do we love Simone and Laurie?! – and Katie Ledecky’s astonishing performance, and the US and NZ runners who helped each other finish after crashing on the track … we could keep going.

Best children’s movie for adults of 2016: Zootopia

Zootopia was great: funny, clever, touching, and with a really beautiful and necessary message. I went with kids, but I would have gone as a single adult just as proudly.

Honorable Mention: The Secret Life Of Pets

Best new Netflix series – drama of 2016: Stranger Things

Stranger Things gripped audiences nationwide with its loving tribute to the 80s horror/children’s adventure film, but it did it in a singularly modern way as a short, streaming series. The series spawned memes, catchphrases, national sweethearts (Barb!), a whole lot of Halloween costumes, and the coolest troop of child actors around.

Honorable Mentions: The OA (possibly my best, but I’m only halfway through it); The Get Down

Best new Netflix series – documentary of 2016: 13th

It’s not exactly a secret that Ava Duvernay is a fantastic filmmaker, but she did something really special with 13th. She took an issue most Americans who are paying attention already knew about – the consistent and disproportional incarceration of black men used as a type of modern servitude in the prison industrial complex – and presented it in a clear, gripping, impossible-to-ignore way.

Best New TV Series That Your Mom Would Like Too of 2016: This Is Us

We love This Is Us. So do most of our friends (30-somethings). So do a lot of older baby boomers we know. This series appeals to the nostalgia of young(-ish) adults who grew up in the 70s –  90s, as well as their parents who were raising kids at that time. It’s not a cheap nostalgia trip, though. This Is Us is a relatable and incredibly touching family story for anyone who has siblings, or parents, or feelings. Plus, let’s not forget how they hooked us all in with that twist in the pilot.

Best Silly Meme of 2016: Arthur Fist 

Speaking of relatable, Arthur’s balled-up fist is relevant to as many life situations in 2016 as it was when you were 10.

Best of 2016: Hamilton’s Cabinet Battle #1 (As Kanye Rant Tweets)

We all know Kanye West isn’t afraid to hold back from saying what he wants both in life and on the Internet, and it was no different when he went on a rant against Wiz Khalifa – his ex Amber Rose’s ex. Naturally, we combined this Twitter rant with our recurring series Hamilton Explained, where we break down tracks from the hit musical’s soundtrack to give more background and insider info on the lyrics. Oh Kanye, history has its eyes on you, even a year later and years to come.


Hamilton Explained: Cabinet Battle #1 (As Kanye Rant Tweets)

Welcome back to Hamilton Explained! It’s been a minute. When the Hamilton soundtrack was released all of these historical and musical references were jumping out at me and I wanted to start unpacking some of them here. I wasn’t counting on a whole community of people doing this very thing over at Genius. Instead of duplicating the efforts from Genius (check out their annotations if you haven’t!) here’s Cabinet Battle #1, explained through tweets from Kanye West’s epic January 27, 2016 rant against Wiz Khalifa.

Stand with me in the land of the free
And pray to God we never see Hamilton’s candidacy
Look, when Britain taxed our tea, we got frisky

7th I am your OG and I will be respected as such

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

Imagine what gon’ happen when you try to tax our whisky

6th don’t ever come out the side of your neck at me

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

WASHINGTON:
Thank you, Secretary Jefferson. Secretary Hamilton, your response

HAMILTON:
Thomas. That was a real nice declaration

Welcome to the present, we’re running a real nation
Would you like to join us, or stay mellow
Doin’ whatever the hell it is you do in Monticello?

Best of 2016: Things I’m Willing to Believe About Lin-Manuel Miranda

Today we’re kicking off our two-week Cookies + Sangria series, “Best of”, where we look back at our posts from this year and think, “Hey, we’re pretty good at this blogging thing!” We’re starting with one of the people that has contributed to the most content throughout the past year – Lin-Manuel Miranda. If there’s anything we can be super grateful for in 2016, it’s the rise of this literal genius to mainstream pop culture.

In continuation of our series “Things I’m Willing To Believe About…”, we focused on Lin, and came up with fake facts that we totally would believe if there were deemed true. How do we know so much about this man anyways? We’re straight up #HamilTrash, that’s why.


Things I’m Willing To Believe About Lin-Manuel Miranda

  • His wife had to request that he stop writing raps to “help” her study for the bar exam (States unchecked can get a little messy/ All rise, Marshall court in Hunter’s Lessee/ State powers subject to diminution/ Cohens. Virginia. You ratified the constitution. / Put the steamboat on the river – okay, New York, it’s Interstate. Gibbons. Ogden. Congress gonna regulate. /And legislate -plus stipulate/ that no militia’s solely state/ When sought, they fought. Martin. Mott.  ) (…may or may not be an excerpt from my Marshall Court review rap for Con Law, c. 2009.)
  • Has more novelty/pop culture-themed t-shirts than dress shirts
  • At least once every couple weeks he wakes up with a start in the middle of the night. By now, his wife just mutters “yes, you remembered to say goodnight to Twitter” and tells him to go back to sleep.

  • Was the runner-up for Most Likely To Succeed, and the winner of Most Earnest, in his senior yearbook.
  • He’s also composed a verse or two for his favorite delivery guy and bodega lady. Not to get free stuff out of it. Just because he cares.
  • Those ex-girlfriends can testify that he’s had that comma game in his arsenal since long before playing our dearest, Hamilton.
  • Really (secretly) prolific on tumblr. Runs your favorite blog.
  • Was a competitor in one of those quiz bowl public access-type shows featuring kids from different schools in NYC. His team won.
  • Attended a LARP-ing summer camp when he was 13

Playlist of the Month: Revolution Starts Monday

We are sad, afraid, and angry. We do not feel like this because the presidential candidate we supported lost. We feel like this because hate won. Very soon, though, we need to get to work. The president-elect’s campaign promises, actions (mocking a reporter with disabilities, using racist language about immigrant groups, intimidating a rape accuser who has live witnesses to his rape of her as a 13 year old child… please do not make us list it all), and now, 100-day plan show that our fellow Americans are in danger of losing their hard-won rights and basic safety. Already, hate crimes are occurring nationwide because hatred has been given a voice. We believe that love and goodness can win, but now we have to fight for it. We’ll take a little time to regroup this week, but the revolution’s imminent.

My Shot (Rise Up Remix) – The Roots feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess

We could have made it through 2016 without Lin-Manuel Miranda, but it would have been much, much worse. We already loved the original My Shot for capturing both the revolutionary spirit of colonial America and of the present day. The new remix, released on the Hamilton Mixtape, takes it to 2016 and the present-day oppression of communities of color.

Fight Song (Democratic National Convention cover) – Rachel Platten

I never liked this song until this version premiered during the Democratic National Convention and reduced me to tears. It was a hopeful moment as we looked forward to the triumph of reason over reactionism, experience over showmanship, and for the love of all things holy, finally a woman in the position of Commander in Chief. It takes on a new meaning now, doesn’t it?

Alright by Kendrick Lamar

Alright became the unofficial anthem last summer when Black Lives Matter activists took the streets, and it was the perfect song – a track touching upon the unbearable pain and struggle while facing adversity in a seemingly hopeless situation. But the message was clear – we gon’ be alright.

Immigrants (We Get The Job Done) by K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC, Residente

Racism and immigration were at the center of the election over the past year, thanks to an outrageous comment said on the same day He announced his candidacy: that Mexicans are rapists who bring drugs into the country. Blah blah, wall, blah blah. Around the same time, Hamilton was a hit Off-Broadway and preparing to make its move to the Richard Rodgers where it continues to live. In Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down), Alexander Hamilton and Marquis de Lafayette high five after saying the line, “Immigrants: we get the job done”. Word on the street (and IRL when we saw Hamilton) is that very single performance, this line gets an individual cheer. Because we all know it’s true and immigrants are the foundation of this country.

So what was brilliant for Lin-Manuel and co. for the Hamilton Mixtape was to take that line and turn it into its own track. Not only that, but features artists who themselves are immigrants or align with more than one country/nationality. K’naan, a Somali Canadian poet and rapper, kicks off the track by saying “I got 1 job, 2 jobs, 3 when I need them/I got 5 roommates in this one studio but I never really see them”, letting y’all know they weren’t going to sugarcoat the truth in the song. Interspersed with lyrics from Yorktown, Snow Tha Product, a female Mexican American rapper, comes in adding, “there ain’t a paper trail when you living in the shadows/We’re Americas ghost writers the credit is only borrowed.” That’s followed by Riz MC aka Riz Ahmed, a British Pakastani (who you might know from The Night Of), who spits, “Who these fugees what did they do for me but contribute new dreams”.

The last verse belongs to Puerto Rican rapper Residente, who’s 1/2 of of Calle 13 and whole halves (?) of Lin-Manuel – they’re cousins. He’s known for not holding back when it comes to his political beliefs in his music, and this is no different. In fact, his entire verse is in Spanish, as if they’re letting us know that the we’re entering an era that isn’t just dominated by one culture or race anymore – it’s diverse AF. Speaking to the Latinos in particular, he says, “We are like plants that grow without water/Without an American Passport/Because half of gringolandia is really Mexican terrain.”

Cold War by Janelle Monae

There is work for everybody now – for teachers and lawyers and journalists and parents and many others – and artists are a big part of the change we’ll need. Janelle has always beautifully put words and music to the struggles that millions of Americans are facing. We’re going to need her for these next four years. This is a cold war, you better know what you’re fighting for.

Formation by Beyonce

Beyonce’s Lemonade era kicked off with the release of Formation, an unapologetic black power and female anthem that had even people from middle America singing “I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros/I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils”. But her message is also one of believing that she (and her fans) can do anything they set their mind to, even if there are people trying to take her down or suppress her voice.  “I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it/I twirl on them haters”

Soy Yo – Bomba Estereo

This went semi-viral earlier this year because of the adorable little girl in the video, but the message to keep singing, dancing and being yourself even if others don’t like it is one we need right now. Other thing we need right now: Spanish, lots of it, everywhere, because now we have a president-elect who says things like “bad hombres” (AND pronounces it “hambres.” So maybe he just hates angry dudes? But nah.)

Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down) by the cast of Hamilton

The phrase “the world turned upside down” kept popping up in my head when it became clear what the election results were, because it felt like everything I thought I knew was wrong and everything I feared would come true did, like we were in an alternate universe. I was obviously in the Denial step of the five stages of grieving. But this song – in the historical context – it tells the events that happened during the Battle of Yorktown, the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. A. Ham went (A.) Ham on the British, forcing them to surrender. But the number itself includes a multitude of inspirational lines that are ever more relevant today (and some I already mentioned before). We have Hamilton: “so the American experiment begins” and all his “My Shot” reprisals, in the anger and focus in spy on the inside Hercules Mulligan: “See, that’s what happens when you up against the ruffians/We in the shit now, somebody gotta shovel it!/Hercules Mulligan, I need no introduction/When you knock me down I get the fuck back up again!”, and in this exchange we must remember to this day:

Laurens: Black and white soldiers wonder alike if this really means freedom

Washington: Not. Yet

The Day Women Took Over by Common

A lot of us had hoped we were voting for the first female president on Tuesday, but just because she didn’t land the title of president-elect, it doesn’t mean she’s the last one to run for the high office. In Common’s track, off his new album Black America Again, he pictures a world where peace and unity truly exist on the sole fact that women are in charge. And I hope this hypothetical world isn’t as far off as it seems.

HamilTour in the Greatest City in the World

It’s finally happened. You bought your Hamilton tickets,  and if you’re like us, you were willing to wait for it (we booked ours 11 months in advance). You’re finally in the Greatest City In The World and by 8pm you will be in the room where it happens. Assuming you’ve already been to New York a number of times and don’t need to hit the biggest tourist attractions, you might want to take in some A.Ham-based sites. Here’s a slate of activities that you can fit in before showtime, answering the ever-important HamFan questions: would it be a good place for a duel? Is it a good place to cry? And, should you throw away your shot to see it?

Alexander Hamilton: Striver, Statesman, Scoundrel at NYPL

photo-oct-05-11-10-13-am

Would it be a good place for a duel?

NO. It is very small and crowded, which means you would hit somebody, A, and also couldn’t get the requisite steps apart, B.

Is it a good place to cry?

Pretty good, yeah. We both got emotional looking at a letter from Alexander to Eliza strictly because an informational plaque contained the word “orphanage.” Also libraries are quiet and respectful, so it sort of feels like crying at church which is not at all an unusual comparison to make, right?

a letter from alex to angelica aka MY DEAREST,

a letter from alex to angelica aka MY DEAREST,

Should you throw away your shot?

No. It’s FREE and primary sources are a total riot. Plus I think the makers of the exhibit threw in some sly Hamilton refs in some of the documentation.

THE REYNOLDS PAMPHLET

THE REYNOLDS PAMPHLET

Also, if you’re looking for Hamilton-based books and tchotchkes, the library store is A+.

Alexander Hamilton statue in Central Park

Would it be a good place for a duel?

It’s not bad.  There are people around but it’s not packed and there’s a lot of space. In terms of places to duel within Manhattan, it’s probably one of the better ones.

Is it a good place to cry?

It didn’t make us emotional and we wouldn’t necessarily cry there.

Should you throw away your shot?

If you happen to be nearby at the MET or something, swing on by, but otherwise it’s just a (nice) statute.

Trinity Church

Would it be a good place for a duel?

You know, we talked about it and we felt that it would feel disrespectful to the dead to duel there. On the other hand, at night it would be a good place for a duel for spooky atmospheric reasons, if you’re going to really go for it.

Is it a good place to cry?

Listen. We cried at  the word “orphanage” on Eliza’s plaque and the pennies on her grave and on her being placed in front of Hamilton’s and the marker next to them explaining that Philip is buried in the same cemetery but the location is unknown and at Angelica being around the other side of the church.

Also it’s a cemetery. That’s probably the most normal place anyone could ever cry.

angelica RIP

angelica RIP

Should you throw away your shot?

No, we found it emotionally gratifying to see where Hamilton lies and it connects you to the real history of real people.

Hamilton: An American Musical

Would it be a good place for a duel?

It would kind of be redundant, no?

Is it a good place to cry?

If you DON’T cry at the Richard Rodgers, I’m seriously concerned for your mental health.
photo-oct-06-1-01-54-am

Should you throw away your shot?

If you even get a shot to be inside the room where it happens, you’re more than lucky to be alive right now. So, the answer is and always will be a resounding no.

Non-Hamilton Side Trips

A few bonus places we made it to this trip:

The Best Pizza – Rubirosa

photo-oct-05-2-37-45-pm
Would it be a good place for a duel?

OK you know those restaurants that are really hip in the front, then there’s a back room that’s for, presumably, less front-of-house appropriate customers (ahem, us), then somehow MORE rooms after that? That was this place. It was deceptively large so there is probably enough space to duel. Plus, this pizza would make a phenomenal last meal. Also the cruelest thing I can think of is to shoot somebody right before they were able to eat a slice from here.

Is it a good place to cry?

No, it’s like Pizza Disney. I have never heard so many people refer to something as “the best” of ANYTHING. I bet it’s an honor just to work there because you know that you are helping people to have the best pizza of their lives. You could cry happy tears like at a wedding, I suppose.

Should you throw away your shot?

Absolutely not, this was the best pizza I could ever hope to have.

New York’s Finest…. Audio Tour – Central Park

We’ve both been to Central Park, but neither of us have done any sort of a tour or read any sort of a guidebook. This time we pulled out our cell phones, resigned ourselves to racking up a ton of data, and listened to the audio tour narrated by notable New Yorkers . It’s extra fun to guess who is going to be up next.

Would it be a good place for a duel?

This really depends. Would I duel on the bow bridge, about which Julia Louis-Dreyfus made a Beau Bridges joke in her segment? Probably not. Too crowded, and a raucous group of schoolchildren who wouldn’t SIT DOWN in their paddleboats would really tempt me to throw away my shot.  But would I duel at The Mall, about which Jerry Seinfeld did not ask what the deal was? Yeah, maybe. Once I stopped recreating key scenes from When Harry Met Sally.

Is it a good place to cry?

It didn’t make us want to cry. However, if you were adjacent to Central Park and had to escape somewhere to cry, I think you could find a good spot. Maybe from the audio tour.

Should you throw away your shot?

If you have time, get there and do some sort of tour or guidebook thing. We couldn’t believe how much we missed on other visits.

All the Art – The Met

photo-oct-07-12-43-39-pm
Would it be a good place for a duel?

The Met is one of the more popular museums in NYC, so there would be a lot of witnesses. But also, due to the high number of valuable pieces of art, if you accidentally shoot a bullet through a Degas, that might be worse than losing the actual duel. If you live, that is.

Also, if you are going to duel first you need to decide how much you’re going to pay to get in (there’s a “suggested donation” and we are not the kind of people who would stiff a museum, but also $25 was a lot since we could only spend a few hours there, so it is a very stressful situation for a very particular kind of person). Do you tell the ticket lady you’ll pay $0 and face the shame of it, or do you pay $25 and hope that you live to take a leisurely stroll through the 19th Century European Impressionist galleries?

PS, it’s also an excellent location to take photos pretending that you’re Blair Waldorf on the front steps. We did so for a WHILE.

Is it a good place to cry?

I think in general, people don’t frown upon being emotional and moved by art, so it’s acceptable here.
photo-oct-07-12-56-11-pm

I should note that I actually did tear up when a class of 8-year-old schoolchildren was discussing a mural, and it was honestly just because this one little girl was so smart and articulate that I was just very happy for her.

Should you throw away your shot?

No! We were sad we didn’t have enough time to go through the entire museum and thoughtfully look at all the pieces. Like Disneyland, The Met needs one of those two-day passes so you can see everything.

Working on my (To)Night (Show) Cheese – 30 Rock


photo-oct-06-9-26-51-am
Would it be a good place for a duel?

No. Security is so tight at 30 Rock that they won’t even let you take a picture inside the screening room where they show you a video on the history of NBC before the actual tour. 

Is it a good place to cry?

Yes, if you’re the type who gets emo at seeing the Saturday Night Live set IRL.

Should you throw away your shot?

Meh – the tour is fine, and worth the $30ish ticket. If you plan ahead, you can get into a taping of Late Night or the Tonight Show like we did, and that was a lifelong dream come true.  The taping was free, but getting a high five from Jimmy himself – priceless.

 

Best of Hams & Best of Ham4Hams – TAKE 2

GUYS  GUYS GUYS GUYS GUYS

THE DAY HAS FINALLY COME. TODAY IS THE DAY WE’VE LIT’RALLY BEEN WAITING FOR FOR THE PAST 10 MONTHS. WE SEE HAMILTON TODAY!!!

In honor of this epic day, we’re revisiting some of our favorite Ham4Hams. In all honesty, part of the reason we’re seeing the show on a Wednesday was in hopes we could see the live Ham4Ham show. But because they did away with them a couple months ago, we’ll be missing out. But we’ll always have these videos.

Since compiling the original list, there have been a few more that need to be added to our faves, so here they are. You enjoy this, we’ll be inside the Richard Rodgers crying at everything. Seriously. We are emotional humans.

SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WAR.


NEW HAM4HAM ADDITIONS:

#TveitForIt

It had been a long time coming for Broadway’s heartthrob Aaron Tveit to show up at Ham4Ham, but you know, he’s been busy with Grease Live and his new TV show and in general just being handsome. But like it was well worth the *tveit* because his surprise appearance sent theater nerds screaming all over the world. On top of that, he sang a mash up of I’m Alive from Next to Normal with Rory’s version of Turn It Off from Book of Mormon ALL while Lin played the tambourine in his T-Birds jacket. WE ARE SO BLESSED.

Happy Trails

July 9th was a day to remember in Hamilton history, with Lin, Pippa Soo and Leslie Odom Jr. all saying their final goodbyes to the show. A few days before, Lin hosted his final Ham4Ham and ruined us by reading a letter Alex wrote to his dearest Eliza. As if we needed to be any more emotional that week.

Queen Sings the Queen

It’s already a known fact we love Tony winner Cynthia Erivo, and that sentiment is pretty much universal among anyone who’s ever heard her sing before. Here she is singing Beyonce like it’s no big deal, because this is just how queens are.

I’m Not Here For You

To be clear, we are here for Renee. She also said goodbye to Angelica this summer, and for her final Ham4Ham, Lin insisted she sing Congratulations, a cut song from the show, which has only been available to #Hamiltrash who know how to search the bowels of the Internet for a bootleg audio. But here we are with a much clearer version of this harsh burn of a song, solidifying that Angelica was the truest HBIC of them all.

All The Mimis

Ever since Hamilton fever hit last year, it’s been compared to Rent in terms of the insane phenomenon that’s reached. Not only that but a number of the cast members have ties to Rent, including Renee and new Eliza Lexi Lawson, who have both played Mimi in their past lives. To celebrate this, the Schuyler sisters did their rendition of Out Tonight using the wooden rafters in place of a NYC fire escape. If you can hear that noise in the distance, it’s millennials (like me) screaming at the perfection of this video.

Talk Less, Sign More

So many things to love about this Ham4Ham. The fact that ASL is in the spotlight is great enough. But on top of that, there’s the added gender reversal PLUS our first look at Michael Luwoye as A.Ham. I wish to be as sassy speaking as these women are signing.


Welcome to #Hamilweek! The Tony Awards are this Sunday, and until then we’re going to write like we’re running out of time (sorry). Hamilton is one of the first hit musicals of the social media era. Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast realize that a majority of the fans can’t make it to the show, so they try their best to bring an up-close experience to their supporters through the magic of the internet. Case in point: Ham4Ham. Originally intended to give people who don’t win the ticket lotto a consolation prize, it has grown into a must-watch YouTube sensation. We could easily put every damn Ham4Ham on the list, but we tried to narrow it down a bit. Here are some of the best of Hams and best of Ham4Hams:

We Three Kings

Hamilton has been #blessed with three (now four) very talented men to play King George – Brian d’Arcy James, Jonathan Groff and Andrew Rannells. The great tragedy is that they never get to grace the stage at the same time. So it was invevitable that a Hamilfan suggested the three of them get together to sing The Schuyler Sisters. Request on Twitter and ye shall receive, so Lin organized this lip sync version featuring royalty. I love this because someone actually cut all the best angles together to create the best supercut. The fandom is great. – T

Star Techs

An amazing example of the behind-the-scenes coordination and dedication needed to produce a single number in the show. Ladies and gentlemen, I present stage manager Jason Bassett calling cues with the rhythm and timing of a star performer. -M

I Don’t Own Emotion, I Rent

For the 20th anniversary of Rent, we dedicated a week of posts to the revolutionary rock musical. Similarly, Lin sang What You Own with a very special guest (still not over this). -T

Patti LuP-owned It

Whenever I’m tempted to half-ass something from now on, I’m going to remember that Patti LuPone does the whole damn introduction to Give My Regards To Broadway that NOBODY DOES. -M

I’ma Compel Him To Include Women in the Sequel

First the Kings take over for the Schuyler Sisters, then the fierce women take over for A. Ham and the rest of the squad for My Shot. There was a rumor a while ago that the touring production was auditioning females for the male roles and vice versa – it proved to me false, but this video alone shows the ladies are more than ready to go. – T

THIS IS PAVEMENT YOU GUYS.

This is one of those Ham4Hams that has nothing to do with the show – not the performers, not the music, just members of the New York City ballet making my brain explode by performing on the sidewalk so beautifully that it made me want to cry. -M

WERK

For one day, the #Ham4Ham turned into #Bam4Ham, as the the cast took a field trip to Washington D.C. to perform for the president. Naturally, Lin took advantage of the setting and recorded three digital Ham4Hams, including this one, which again features the ladies of the show. I still get chills every time I watch it. Which is a lot. It’s a reminder that the story they’re telling at the Richard Rodgers stemmed from real events, not just made up characters for a Broadway show. That Hamilton and the rest of the founding fathers built this nation from the ground up, and these beautiful actors have the privilege of telling their story.  -T

Fun Ham

If you’ve read Chernow’s biography, or just engaged in some deep-Googling, you probably know that Alexander and Eliza had eight children. And if you’re a youngest or middle child, you won’t be surprised that everyone only talks about the oldest. The Fun Home kids bring the other Hamilton sibs to life and tell you a little about their accomplishments. Is Oscar Williams old enough to play Phillip when Anthony Ramos leaves (long may Anthony Ramos remain, though)? -M

Minamahal Kita

This Ham4Ham holds a special place in my heart because it was the video that informed me Lin’s longterm girlfriend in college was Filipino. And like the type of Filipino that taught her boyfriend conversational Tagalog. And that Lin is the type of person that would compose a song in Taglish (Tagalog and English) to mack on his girl. My brain exploded and all that came out were the emojis with heart eyes. Oh, also Queen of the Philippines Lea Salonga is in this too. -T

Heights4Ham

Chances are if you love Hamilton, you loved Lin’s first venture, In The Heights, as well … and this miniature ITH reunion was better than I even hoped for. Karen Olivo, everyone! -M

Funny Girl

Has anyone proven that Jasmine Cephas Jones ISN’T magic? At least a little bit?

Silky Strikes Again

Leslie Odom Jr. could me the McDonalds value menu and I’d be so enthralled by it that I’d buy every damn thing. But when you mix my fave track Wait For It with an emotional song like Stars from Les Mis – forget it. I am undone. -T

~*BFFLs*~

I love Jimmy Fallon. I love Lin-Manuel Miranda. They are both equally cinnamon rolls too precious for this world. So when they get together it’s sugar overload. What? Yes. Just watch. – T

If I Was A Schuyler

Tevye’s daughters from the Fiddler On The Roof (including Lin’s former intern!) make their best case for appearing as the Schuyler sisters. I’m sold. -M

Kyle Jean-Baptiste

Summer 2015: in addition to the diverse cast playing the founding fathers in Hamilton, Broadway had its first black Valjean in Kyle Jean-Baptiste. You could, and can, feel theater changing. This is bittersweet now: Kyle died tragically at just 21 years old, but thanks to this Ham4Ham we can still appreciate his talent.