Is the Broadway musical Hamilton finally coming to a theatre near you? Here are five tips for seeing Hamilton with your teen to ensure the experience is unforgettable!
. . .
I look over in the darkness, and the light from the stage highlights the quiet tears streaming down her face.
I turn back to the performance and Eliza gently strokes Phillip's hair singing, "Shhhh. I know, I know."
The beat of the drum goes silent, and my daughter and I both start to sob. As I hand her a tissue, we both smile.
We knew we wouldn't make it through the song Stay Alive without crying. That moment, that connection, the entire Hamilton experience with my daughters has been unforgettable.
Giving the Gift of Hamilton Tickets To Your Teen
When possible, our family loves giving experiences as gifts. We knew seeing Hamilton would be a fantastic birthday gift for my teen daughter and so we invested in tickets.
If you are new to gifting experiences, we recommend giving a small physical gift like a book or CD with a note inside that says, "We're going to see Hamilton on [date]!" Here are a few of our favorite Hamilton gift ideas.
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- Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
- Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda
- The Hamilton Mixtape
- My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton
5 Tips For Making Hamilton With Your Teen Unforgettable — Do Not Throw Away Your Shot
Is the Broadway musical Hamilton finally coming to a theatre near you? Here are five tips for seeing Hamilton with your teen!
1. When seeing Hamilton with your teen, the right tickets matter.
Generally, when our family heads to the theater, we purchase center tickets on the first row of the mezzanine. I love being able to see the entire stage and the reduced price point is helpful when you're purchasing tickets for a family of four. However, when we went to see Hamilton the theater was so packed, our family ended up splitting up into two sets of seats. My husband and our oldest sat in the mezzanine, while my youngest (who was the true Hamilton fan) and I sat in the first few rows on the main floor.
The tickets for the floor were a big price jump, but the musical experience is completely different from that vantage point. For the production of Hamilton, the stage floor has a moving roundabout which the dancers use throughout the performance. From raised seats, you can see the technical aspects and appreciate how skilled the performers are at getting on and off the roundabout within the performance. From the floor, the roundabout integration is seamless, leaving you to focus on the music and the story without visual distraction.
If you are seeing Hamilton with your teen, and only purchasing two tickets, I'd splurge and get as close as possible! If need to be economical or you're heading to the theater with your whole family, the mezzanine is an AWESOME experience too. In the end, any ticket is a good seat for this show. It is that good.
2. Know the songs and the story BEFORE you go to see Hamilton with your teen.
Start listening to the Hamilton soundtrack TODAY. If you head into the show not having listened to the soundtrack, you'll still enjoy it, but you'll miss a lot of what makes this musical so amazing — Lin-Manuel Miranda's storytelling and lyrics.
At the live show, you find yourself enchanted by the dancing, the costumes, the set... the performance. If you've listened to the soundtrack beforehand and know the basic story, you can focus on the overall theatre experience, rather than try to keep up with the fast-paced lyrics.
You can find the soundtrack on Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube, or even check it out at your local library.
The one caveat, stop listening to the soundtrack at least two weeks before you go to see the musical. If you enjoy the soundtrack right up to the day you hit the theatre, you'll be comparing the recorded version of the music to the live performance. Taking a bit of a break a few weeks before the live show helps ensure your theatre experience is enjoyable.
3. Use the musical to spark deep conversations with your teen.
I've reread, time and again. that the musical Hamilton is lighting a fire and teaching our kids national history. If this is all your teen is getting out of listening and seeing Hamilton, you're missing a tremendous opportunity to connect with your daughter or son. There are so many underlying themes that open the door to meaningful conversations.
Here are a few topics you can chat about while listening to the soundtrack.
- Honor & Reputation — There are so many ways to relate this to high school
- Sex & Infidelity — You're going to want to be able to casually talk about "Say No To This" before you sit next to your teen during this number
- Taking Action vs. Waiting — The song "Wait for It", along with the central themes of the musical, make for great conversation
- Running Out of Time — This is an excellent opportunity to discuss how to prioritize what is important in life
- Legacy — So much of our teens' lives are documented on social media; talk about the concept of a digital legacy and what your teen wants to be remembered for
- Forgiveness — The central theme of reconciliation throughout the musical, make this an excellent topic to discuss with your teen
One last note, if you listen to the soundtrack in the car together, it makes these conversations less awkward. No teen wants to make eye contact with their parent when talking about sex, infidelity, or social pressures of school. Chatting while driving makes it possible to have these deep conversations with ease.
4. Use Hamilton as an excuse to hang out together.
You'll both need something nice to wear to the theatre. If your teen likes to shop, use this as an excuse to hang out.
My girls and I spent a day together going to a variety of fun resale shops in search of the perfect dress for the performance. I love having a snapshot of this moment in time — one daughter sporting Converse All-Stars while the other wears preppy plaid.
5. Make dinner reservations for after the show when going to see Hamilton with your kids.
Intentionally reserve time to talk about how amazing the musical was by making dinner plans ahead of time. I highly recommend a matinee so you can have dinner with your teen after the show. The Hamilton experience doesn't have to end once the curtain has closed. Here are a few conversation starters for you!
- What was your favorite part of the show?
- Did anything surprise you or catch you off guard?
- Did you expect _________ to happen?
- Were you crying too when ___________? <— By the way, I recommend bringing tissues to the show!
- How do you think ___________ compared to Lin-Manuel Miranda?
- What did you think of the costumes, choreography, set, etc.?
BONUS TIP: If plausible, make seeing Hamilton with your teen a weekend getaway.
Let's be frank for a moment; seeing Hamilton with your teen is a pricey endeavor. Make sure you get your money's worth out of the musical. In other words, don't rush the experience. Planning a weekend getaway around the show ensures you can slow down, relax, and be fully present with your kids.
Time with your family is truly a GIFT — Giving them your full presence is an act of love.
I hope you enjoy the show as much as we did!
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P.S. I want to give a shout out to my friend Jen. Thank you for gifting me the Hamilton CD, thank you for helping us secure tickets, and thank you for being you. We loved seeing the show and spending the weekend with you guys!