owlmoose: (ffix - garnet)
This past weekend was super and fabulous. I was fortunate enough to be able to snag four tickets to Hamilton for this past Friday, and I invited [personal profile] justira and [twitter.com profile] kaytaylorrea to join me. They both came into town, [personal profile] justira with their partner in tow, and the four of us had a great time not just at the show, but hanging out in SF.

Friday's show was a matinee, so we grabbed a quick lunch beforehand, then an early dinner after. The show was just as wonderful the second time, and in some ways I feel like it was better -- when I went in April, this particular troupe had been together for less than a month. Now that they've had two more months to work together, the ensemble gelled more, and I saw more nuances in some of the performances. I also saw a couple of different actors, in particular a different Angelica, and although her voice wasn't quite as powerful, I loved the acting choices she brought to the role. Another thing I noticed overall is just how funny this performance was -- this particular cast plays up the humorous moments in the songs and the choreography in a way I found really effective.

All three of my co-attendees loved the show as well, despite bringing very different levels of familiarity with it (one who has listened to the album a million times, one who'd never heard the music but read all the lyrics in advance, and one coming in almost completely cold), and it was fun to talk about how their various expectations colored their watching experience.

On Saturday, [personal profile] justira and I met up with [personal profile] forestofglory to wander the Ferry Building and Farmers Market. We noshed our way through, one of my favorite ways to eat breakfast in the city, including some breakfast ice cream at Humphry Slocombe (taking advantage of the lack of line). After that I met Kay for a Giants game; our boys lost (not unsurprisingly; the team is TERRIBLE this year), but we still had fun. Then we all (minus [personal profile] forestofglory, who had a prior engagement) gathered at my place for more chatting and hanging out until far too late, chattering about fandom and everything else under the sun, driving poor T to distraction I'm sure. I was particularly happy to see how well everyone clicked, considering that my two guests didn't really know each other before the weekend. There's nothing better than introducing two friends and watching them develop a quick rapport. :)

As Kay said a couple of times over the weekend, our parents were wrong: always make friends with strangers on the Internet. Sure, there's a risk, as people are always a risk, but the rewards are one thousand percent worth it.
owlmoose: (heroes - hiro jump)
I saw Hamilton last night!!!!!

When it was announced that the touring production of Hamilton would open in San Francisco, I decided with some friends that we were not throwing away our shot, and we bought season tickets to guarantee that we'd get to see it. (As it happens, I also got lucky with the general on-sale, and was able to buy tickets to a second show in June.) So we've been going to the theater since last fall, seeing The King and I (which was fun; despite its problematic elements, it's a childhood favorite of mine, so I had quite a bit of nostalgia for it), Finding Neverland (eh -- although it had nice production values), and Into the Woods (which I'd never seen in any format before, so I was pleased to finally have the chance). But it was all about Hamilton, really, so I've been bouncing about this for weeks. I think it's safe to say that the experience was pretty much everything I had hoped for. Even knowing the words nearly by heart, and having seen a few clips and GIFs here and there, there were still quite a few surprises in store, and the energy of the live performance was incredible. The audience was hyped, too -- I don't think I've ever been at a play where the theater erupted into cheers when the lights went down.

I went with an interesting mix of people, as far as their past experience with the show was concerned: two friends who had already seen it twice (once with most of the original cast in New York!), a few who had listened to the cast album a couple of times, and two who went in completely cold. Everyone enjoyed it a lot, and even the folks who were unfamiliar were able to follow along, although at least one commented that they were occasionally confused by the double casting.

Afterward, we happened to walk by the stage door, and we were able to get signatures on our programs from the actors who played Lafayette/Jefferson, Mulligan/Madison, and Hamilton. So that was fun! Although a part of me wishes I had gotten the opportunity to see the original cast, I thought all the touring actors did a fine job. (The only main cast member who rejoined from New York is Rory O'Malley, who plays King George, although some of the leads are played by former members of the chorus.) Some of them were clearly channeling the original actors (especially Joshua Henry as Burr), while others put a bit of their own spin on things (Emmy Raver-Lampman as Angelica, and to a certain extent Michael Luwoye as Hamilton, particularly in Act Two).

Anyway, I am very, very happy I had the opportunity to see this show, and am really looking forward to doing it all again in June. :)
owlmoose: (star wars - han woohoo)
There are many great things about living in San Francisco, and one of them is that the big Broadway shows often launch their touring productions here. I haven't often been able to take advantage of this fact, because said big show launches almost always sell out quickly, mostly to season ticket holders. Usually, I end up catching a show on its second or third time through (that's how I saw Wicked, The Book of Mormon, and Avenue Q), and usually I'm fine with that.

I bet some of you can guess where this is going.

So the local Broadway series recently put season tickets for the 2016-17 season on sale, for six shows, two of which were announced. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime was one. And the other? Is Hamilton.

I have never even thought about buying season tickets for this series before, but I immediately started considering whether it was worth shelling out for it this time. Soon, I discovered that a number of my friends were having similar thoughts, and a couple of days ago, we went for it. So I am now the proud holder of a season pass for the upcoming season, and I will be seeing Hamilton in the Spring of 2017!

I like going to the theater, so there's a good chance that I'll be happy to see whatever the other shows are. (Dare I hope for Fun Home to go on tour next year, too? Now that would be an embarrassment of riches.) And although I don't have strong feelings about Curious Incident -- I have yet to read the book -- it reviews well, so I'm sure I'll go see it. But it's all worth it, just for Hamilton. Sure, it's over a year away. But I'm still really excited. Yay Hamilton!
owlmoose: Picture of a beanie moose and a small brown owl (owlmoose)
I'm making good on my personal threat to attend lots of cons in 2016: I've now registered for FogCon (as always), WisCon (which I've been meaning to attend for a few years now and the stars finally aligned), and WesterCon (SE's suggestion; Scalzi is the guest of honor, and it's in Portland, which is a city I've always meant to spend more time in). So that's the first half of 2016 scheduled up.

I finally watched Daredevil. I'd been meaning to get to it for awhile; wanting to finish before Jessica Jones drops next month finally pushed it up the queue. Overall I enjoyed it, although I also had some issues. Some of the more pressing complaints are detailed in this Tumblr post ('ware major spoilers). I want to write a longer post about it soon.

Instead of other things I'd been meaning to read, I picked up the biography of Alice B. Sheldon (aka James Tiptree Jr.). I've never read any of Tiptree's fiction, but I've heard the bio is excellent, and so far it has delivered.

Finally, just because I haven't posted about it here doesn't mean I'm not caught in the full throes of a Hamilton obsession. If you've been wondering what the heck Hamilton is, or this is somehow the first you've ever heard of it, the short answer is that it's a Broadway musical based on the life of Alexander Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The cast album was released a few weeks ago, and made available to listen online shortly before that, and half the Internet has been freaking out over it ever since. Here's a good primer (thanks to [personal profile] umadoshi for the link). If you want a taste of it without committing to the whole album (although it's free on Spotify), check out Miranda's White House performance of an early version of the first song. Warning for highly addictive earworms.

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