Adults aren’t the only Hamilton superfans.

Image by Joan Marcus, courtesy Broadway in Portland

Thursday night, my teenage son and I went to Keller Auditorium for the national tour of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s brilliant musical biography of founding father, Alexander Hamilton. Described as the “story of America then, told by America now,” it covers the revolutionary war, early years of our nation, Hamilton’s marriage and his infamous rivalry with Aaron Burr. It’s packed with 34 wonderful musical numbers that mix hip hop, rap, jazz and Broadway styles. There’s love, betrayal, sacrifice, jealousy and tons of political debate. It’s a lot to fit into one show, and it takes three hours to do it. But I loved every minute.

My friend, Julie, took her family of Hamilton superfans to yesterday’s matinee. Like me, they had seen the Broadway cast recording on Disney+ and listened to the soundtrack numerous times (both of which I highly recommend doing), so they were familiar with the story. Julie’s 14 year-old daughter, Jocey thought the show was, “Amazing!”

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Image by Joan Marcus, courtesy Broadway in Portland

Wondering if the content is appropriate for your child? The story contains complicated themes, including adultery, as well as a handful of curse words (2 of which were left out of the Disney+ recording so it could get a PG-13 rating). I recommend it for kids in middle school and up. Before buying tickets, listen to the music with your kids to gauge their interest. You can also still stream Hamilton on Disney+ (a good alternative to anyone who can’t get tickets, and a great way to decide for yourself if it’s appropriate for your family). Whichever format you chose, turn on the subtitles or follow along with the lyrics. Miranda’s words are genius, but some of the verses move so quickly it can be hard to keep up, especially those sung by Paris Nix’s Marquis de Lafayette. Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by how well we could hear and understand the performers. Their voices were perfectly balanced against the orchestra, so bravo and many thanks to the sound technicians. 

Hamilton runs through May 1 at Portland’s Keller Auditorium. Most performances are either sold out or close to it, but, as of this writing, tickets are still available. They aren’t cheap; remaining seats will run you $399 each, plus fees. However, forty tickets for $10 apiece have been set aside for every remaining performance and are available through a digital lottery. For lottery details, download the official Hamilton app. Click on “lottery,” then “Portland.” 

Masks are still required at Hamilton performances. You’ll also need to show your ID along with proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

Image by Joan Marcus, courtesy Broadway in Portland
Elizabeth Ely Moreno

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