REVIEW + WHAT TO EXPECT: HAMILTON THE MUSICAL (TORONTO)

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I am still processing the fact that I finally saw “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” live, and it did not disappoint. Two nights ago, I attended the opening night of Hamilton: The Musical at The Princess of Wales Theatre. I wanted to write this blog post to share my thoughts about this production and performance, as well as what you can expect, in terms of food, merchandise, and some tips as well! I hope you enjoy reading my blog post below and hopefully, it will be helpful if you plan on seeing the show. Before you do read below, it would be great if you can follow on social media (TiktokInstagram, and Facebook) for more content like this! For a visual preview, see below!

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Venue

This production of Hamilton can be seen at the Princess of Wales Theatre located at 300 King St West, located in Toronto’s entertainment district. It is also important to note that this theatre is also part of Mirvish Productions (same company producing The Cursed Child in Toronto). There are several paid parking options including parking garages nearby (which was helpful since there was a snow storm opening night) and if you are not driving, you can easily access it via public transit. The doors open a little less than half and hour before the show and outside food and drink as well as video and photography during the show is prohibited. Please make sure you put your phone on silent when seated!

Tickets

Getting tickets for this show was a bit intense and such a long journey due to Covid and of course, Hamilton being the phenomenon it is, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. Thankfully, we were able to get tickets through American Express (Mirvish partner). The tickets were about $189 CAD each and yes, it is expensive but we sat 3 rows from the stage (house centre orchestra) and the view was incredible (no zoom in this picture), so definitely worth it! You can take a look at the Mirvish’s website to see what tickets are available. I do want to point out that the seats are not the most spacious.

Photo Ops

In terms of special photos you can take, I only noticed one which is a nice Hamilton poster backdrop at the upper level beside the Amex priority concession stand.

Merchandise

There were quite a few options for merchandise you can get but I didn’t buy any because it was a bit pricey (e.g. a t-shirt was $50, mug for $25, cd for $40). I was a bit intrigued by socks but they took it down since they realized they actually didn’t have any sale. The service at the booth wasn’t great but there was one employee that was helpful and he did mention you can also get the same items at hamiltongoods.com.

Food

The options for food were not great so I do suggest eating before hand. For $13 I ended up grabbing a few snacks (cookie, fuzzy peaches, chocolate almonds, and sprite). I am not entirely sure, but I heard that popcorn and ice cream was only available during intermission. What I didn’t realize is that with your CAA membership (make sure you have your card), you can get a discount on concession stands. Another perk of your membership is that you can get free coffee!

The Musical

Story

Now for the most important part of this review, the musical. I don’t think you need to be a fan of the theatre to be familiar with Hamilton as it is considered one of the, if not, the biggest musical of all-time. The musical tells the inspiring story of Alexander Hamilton, who immigrated from the Caribbean to become one of America’s founding father and the first U.S. secretary of the treasury. This is not your typical play or musical as the story is told beautifully through hip-hop that makes the storytelling lively and riveting in my opinion.

Music

In my opinion, the primary reason for why Hamilton became the spectacle it is today is because of the music. Say what you want about Lin-Manuel Miranda but you can tell he put in a lot of time and passion into the music as the storytelling, tempo, production all align with someone who loves hip-hop while simultaneously, and undoubtedly, a proud theatre kid! Despite only seeing Hamilton live a few nights ago, I have been listening to songs from the musical for almost 7 years now. I personally love how these two worlds of classical and modern clash and contrast such as the violins and the records scratch, but it works to produce something incredible. My personal favourite songs are Alexander Hamilton, Yorktown, Non-Stop, The Room Where It Happens, Wait for It, and The Schuyler Sisters. FYI, if you haven’t heard the official mixtape I highly recommend you listen to that as well. The mixtape takes the songs you loved from the musical and combine it with established artists to have their own take on it. My favourite songs from the mixtape are My Shot, Wrote My Way Out, Wait For It, Immigrants, and Who Tells Your Story.

I do want to mention that you should be going in with a bit of an open mind because even though you may be similar to someone like me who loves the music, it is important to understand that this is an entirely different cast with different voices and styles. It is not drastically different but I still enjoyed it and I have noticed that this cast does focus more on their expressions when singing as well as lean into more of the comedy aspect of the show. Therefore, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Anthony Ramos, Phillipa Soo, and the rest of the talented original cast set an extremely high standard and this cast did rise up (pun intended).

Stage Production

In terms of the stage and set design, it didn’t seem to have anything out of the ordinary or complex. They had a few moving pieces and played with the spotlight a bit but nothing to too crazy (which goes to show how good the music and choreography is to keep you entertained from start to finish). One thing to note is that at times they did have really bright lights that felt blinding for a few seconds so be mindful of that.

Overall

In conclusion, I genuinely enjoyed the show and after years of wanting to Hamilton live you can assume how high expectations were, and it was thankfully met. I recommend this to anyone of any age regardless if they are familiar with the show or not because I think there are different elements of this musical that connect to different people such as the music, story telling, comedy, and overall entertainment. In terms of food and merchandise, it was disappointing so I hope they can fix that in the future. If you’ve gone to see the show in Toronto or anywhere else please let me know your thoughts below or if you are planning to get let me know as well! Please feel free to support by following on social media on InstagramFacebook, & TikTok!

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