Never a Duel Moment

I’m on a Hamilton high today.

Last night Tara and I went to see the hit Broadway show, which is currently playing in Portland March 20 – April 8 as part of its national tour. I was lucky enough to snag a pair of tickets, probably because I was online the second they went on sale. Literally. We are fans, and this was a Christmas gift for Tara. One that I also benefitted from!

How was it, you ask? So awesome, I have no words. But I am not throwing away my shot at trying to describe it anyway.

I’ve listened to the soundtrack a million times, but seeing it in person was a completely different experience. The way the cast members interacted with one another brought a whole new dimension to the experience, adding a bit of comedic levity to the show. The original Broadway cast might have moved on to bigger and better things, but these guys were no slouches. Much to my surprise, King George stole the show. We were also super impressed with the actors portraying Hamilton, Eliza, Angelica, and Jefferson. It was all so entertaining, those three hours flew by. I can easily declare this the best show, on- or off-Broadway, that I have ever seen.hamilton

Granted, I’ve never actually seen a show on Broadway, but I’m sure I’d still feel the same after last night.

Getting there proved to be a little stressful. We started out with a nice dinner and pre-show cocktail at the Doug Fir Lounge, our favorite music venue in Portland. I’m pretty sure this was the first time we went there for a meal only, and it did not disappoint. It was rainy though, and rush hour, so we crept and crawled over there. I was nervous about the time, but we arrived a few minutes before 6:00 and were actually the first ones there for dinner, so service was quick. We were out of there in less than an hour.

Then, on the drive to Keller Auditorium, we ran into a few delays, most notably a pair of emergency vehicles that came screaming past us, lights flashing and sirens blaring, and screeched to a halt, nearly blocking the entrance to the Hawthorne Bridge. Which we had to cross because the show was on the opposite side of the river. The nerve, right?! I was ready to jump out of my car and challenge the paramedics to a duel if they didn’t get out of my way pronto because Alexander and Aaron were scheduled to go toe-to-toe in only 20 minutes, but fortunately I was able to inch my vehicle around them and made it across the bridge without incident. Good thing, as these duels rarely end well. Plus, I suppose there was probably somebody who needed medical assistance. Fine!

In any case, we got there with about 15 minutes to spare. Whew! I was unable to buy a $9.50 glass of wine because the line was too long, but on the plus side, I saved $9.50 on a glass of wine. I pay $7.99 a bottle at Trader Joe’s. I’m no economics major, but I’d guess the vendor is making a killing.

Soon enough the lights dimmed, the crowd roared, and the ten-dollar founding father without a father who got a lot farther by working a lot harder, by being a lot smarter, by being a self-starter, took to the stage with his ragtag volunteer army in need of a shower who were focused on defeating a global superpower, and the mad dash to get there was quickly forgotten.

Told you I was on a high.

In the end, we loved it! I’d go again tonight if I had tickets. Tara could not thank me enough for her gift; the evidence was right there in her happy tears.

The show ended at 10:30 and it took us a while to get out of the parking garage, but we were expecting this. I really wanted to stop at Voodoo Doughnut on the way back (this is on our farewell tour list and a midnight maple bacon bar would have totally hit the spot), but navigating Portland’s one-way streets after dark and trying to find a parking spot close enough to the doughnut shop but far away from sketchy people proved to be an impossible task. Oh, well. There’s still time.

But not much.

Countdown: 78 Days

8 thoughts on “Never a Duel Moment

  1. That is fabulous, Mark! I hope to catch the show some day. I’m married to someone who would NEVER get dinner before a ticketed show unless the restaurant was basically in the same venue. Too many risks for him, 😂


    1. Ha! Well, I suppose that makes things less stressful for you, if a bit less adventurous. I did look for restaurants closer to the venue, but choices are limited in that general vicinity. Plus, what is there wouldn’t have been as good as the Doug Fir!


    1. I haven’t seen a ton of plays before, but there have been a few over the years. “Phantom of the Opera” was my former favorite, but that didn’t even come close to “Hamilton.” Such a good show!


  2. Oh how WONDERFUL, Mark! I remember waaaaaaaaaay back last year when you mentioned that your ticket purchase for Hamilton for next April, which back then seemed so long ago yet, the day finally arrived!

    “If you are a writer, don’t throw anything away, it does the heart good to look back and know that once upon a time ….. but that is the start of another story….”

    Yes, which is exactly the reason WHY I love seeing (and acting in) theater productions (versus film) because it’s such a magical experience to witness it LIVE.

    “Granted, I’ve never actually seen a show on Broadway, but I’m sure I’d still feel the same after last night.”

    Yes, and I agree with you. I’ve seen many Broadway shows, but I’ve also seen many on-the-road-Broadway shows and they were EQUALLY as faaaaaaaabulous! For instance, I’ve seen Evita about eight times (on Broadway, and off ) and BOTH were outstanding. However, I think my favorite production was a traveling production of Evita, which came to Philadelphia several years ago. The actress who portrayed Eva Peron was perhaps my favorite Eve portrayal ever. I liked her so much that I waited outside the stage door until she came out after the show to tell her just how MUCH I loved her performance.

    I am sooooo happy for you and Tara! Glad to hear that you had a GREAT time!!!

    I’m hoping that when I move to NYC in the fall, I’ll be able to get (afford) tickets to see it at the Richard Rodgers Theater!


    1. Thanks, Ron! “Hamilton” was everything we hoped for and more. It’s safe to say it exceeded all expectations! Afterwards I told Tara, I can never listen to the soundtrack again, because it will always pale after seeing it live. A day later I took that back, though. Because it’s too good not to listen to over and over!

      “I remember waaaaaaaaaay back last year when you mentioned that your ticket purchase for Hamilton for next April, which back then seemed so long ago yet, the day finally arrived!”

      Yes, exactly! Further proof that these days, weeks, and months are absolutely flying by!

      Enjoy the rest of your week, my friend.


  3. Mark, oh bummer….I left you a LONG comment on this post yesterday but I don’t see it. Check your spam box to see if it’s there. Sorry.


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