Hi my darlings!
Something tremendous happened last week. It was incredibly exciting. It was fabulously fabulous. It was humongously theatrical.
It involved Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Also, I know Lin has been seemingly overtaking this blog, but next week will be different, I swear. I won’t even mention his name, probably, most likely. Just bear with me for one more week.
As many of you know I absolutely adore Lin-Manuel Miranda. I think he’s a genius and he has inspired me in many ways including, of course, my writing of musicals. I also have also been madly in love with him, but that is a different story.
Basically, I have always wanted to meet Lin-Manuel Miranda, but because he lives in New York and I live in Los Angeles, there has been no way.
Until last week.
As many of you know, there is an online lottery, called Ham4Ham, that you can enter to win ten dollar tickets to Hamilton (it costs a Hamilton to see Hamilton), but something that you may not know, however (okay, you probably do know this) is that there used to be, in New York, a live Hamilton lottery that Lin would hold outside the Richard Rogers theater every week. This was only in the very early days of Hamilton on Broadway, but there are many videos on the internet of all the fabulous performances by famous Broadway people who’d show up to the lotteries and sing or dance or both, with Lin.
The live Hamilton lotteries seemed like to me like the kind of thing that only the lucky few who had been blessed and endowed with fabulousness at birth would ever get to see. This was mainly because the year of the live Hamilton lotteries was the year I was suffering from Teenaged Angst (think Spring Awakening without all the R-rated things) (but then what’s left?) (just pretend I didn’t say anything).
But then something fabulous happened, and that fabulous thing is called Lin Came To Los Angeles California For The Opening Of The LA Run Of Hamilton And He Announced The First Live Hamilton LOttery in Years Which He Would Be Attending With Special Guests Included.
I almost fainted dead away when I heard the news, but instead I screamed and ran around my house, striking deep-seated rage into the hearts of my downstairs neighbors.
I’m just assuming it struck deep-seated rage into their hearts.
Lin was going to be LIVE OUTSIDE THE PANTAGES THEATER ON HOLLYWOOD BLVD!
I could not believe such things could possibly happen to a person of my status. Actually, no, that’s wrong, I was relieved that I was finally going to get my due.
The next morning, bright and early, I was driven (IT IS FINE THAT I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DRIVE!) to the Pantages where there was already a substantial line. I brought my sisters with for moral support and also in case I needed to stand on someone’s knee/shoulder to see Lin better (it should probably be noted that my sisters are both smaller/younger than I am).
We stood outside the Pantages and waited and we met some nice people who were also waiting and we swapped Broadway stories and played Uno with my Hamilton score as a table like old ranchers.
Finally (hours later, after I lost one of my sisters on Hollywood Blvd, panicked, yelled, found her, cried, ate a Cliff bar, washed my face in a Bed Bath and Beyond, was given a free Ham 4 Ham shirt by a passive-aggressive Pantages employee, and was on live TV) the line began to move (just so you know, by now there were thousands of people in the line) and we were ushered forward to write our names on lottery ticket slips and deposit them in a large plastic bucket.
I was delirious with the thrill of the moment and although I did lose my sisters in the process, I got a fabulous spot in front of the small stage that was set up outside the Pantages. The stage where Lin-Manuel Miranda would soon be performing.
It was so insane. I was sort of crying.
The people around me were so fabulously excited, and it hit me, as I stood crushed hotly with sweaty Hamilton Merchandise, that there are people in the world who understand the true beauty of Musical Theatre. It was a profound moment.
Finally, over the PA system, we all heard a voice. The voice was extremely recognizable. The voice said, “where is Daveed Diggs?!”
And then Lin-Manuel Miranda came bounding onto the stage and proceeded to be the most adorable human on the planet. Daveed Diggs also showed up, and the cast of the LA production of Hamilton sang a medley of California/LA love songs with Lin. It was incredibly beautiful.
I did not win the lottery. But I will never forget that day as long as I live. It really made me remember (not that I’d forgotten, but it made me re-remember) why I love musical theatre so incredibly much; it’s not just about the shows, it’s about a shared sense of community pride and geekiness.
And now I bestow you with photos taken by moi of this fabulous day in history.
Have you ever gotten to meet/see Lin-Manuel Miranda? Do you wish I would stop writing about him? Do you love Hamilton? Please let me know, and until next week, I love you all!